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2019-9-30

Local Bicyclist Killed in Tragic Hit and Run

Virginia State Police investigate fatal hit and run in Greensville County.

On September 28, 2019, the Greensville County Sheriffs dispatch center received a 911 call of bicyclist lying in the grass near the 1000 block of Slagle Lake Road. Upon arrival of deputies and EMS, it was determined that the bicyclist had been struck by a vehicle and died at the scene. The bicyclist was identified as Henry Chester Boone, 81 YOA, of the 2100 block of Slagle Lake Road, Emporia, Virginia.

Greensville County contacted the Virginia State Police to investigate the fatality.

Preliminary investigation revealed Mr. Boone was riding a 2009 Fuji team road bike southbound on Slagle Lake Road when he was struck from behind by an unknown vehicle that fled the scene. Mr. Boone was thrown from the bicycle and suffered life threatening injuries.

The Virginia State Police accident reconstruction team was called to the scene.  Based on evidence located at the scene, they were able to identify and locate a suspect vehicle, a 2013 Hyundai Tucson with damages consistent with the crash.  The driver, Christopher Harley Reed, 35 YOA of Emporia, was arrested and charged with felony hit and run and involuntary manslaughter.  He was transported to the Southside Regional Jail and received a secured bond.

Currently this is still an ongoing criminal investigation. Anyone with any information relating to this crime are encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police at (757) 424-6800.

State Police would like to thank the Greensville Sheriffs Department with their assistance in this investigation.

James Calvin Vaughan

December 10, 1929 ~ September 23, 2019

James Calvin Vaughan,  a devoted Christian, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, began his journey through life on Tuesday, December 10, 1929 in Greensville County, Virginia.  He was born to the parentage of the late Deacon Calvin and Deaconess Mabel L. Vaughan.

During the earlier years of his life, James matriculated through the Greensville County School System. Upon completion of his education, he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior and joined the Diamond Grove Baptist Church of Skippers, Virginia.  It was at this church, where James' spiritual gifts were developed and love for God deepened.  He had the heart of a servant, as for many years he served as a Deacon, Church Treasurer, President of the Senior Usher Ministry and as the Graveyard Supervisor. Deacon Vaughan served his church well, but saw the need to broaden his horizon and share his gifts, talents and treasurers with the Greensville County Baptist Union, as past President and Treasurer for the Fellowship Ushers Union and Sunday School Union, respectively. It was really nothing new for him to find himself in leadership positions. He took every position seriously and gave it his, all until his health began to decline.

Deacon Vaughan was not only a churchman, but also a family man, who on March 11, 1950, united in Holy Matrimony to the love of  his life, Eldora Gilliam Vaughan. They shared sixty-seven years of marriage together before the Lord called her home on August 30, 2017.  This union was blessed with the birth of four children; James Larry, Woodrow, Dennis Wayne and Sherry Lorraine.  Seeing the need to provide for his family, he became gainfully employed with the International Paper Company. After 25 years of hard work, he retired and joined the faculty of the Greensville County Public Schools; serving for 20 years.

'James Cal', as he was affectionately called by many, was known throughout the community as a pioneer in social justice reform,   leader in political concerns that affected the community to which he belonged, civil and human rights activist. He served as  Chairman of the Greensville County Social Services Board, a member of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club, a lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), member of the Greensville County Planning Commission, and a past president of the International Paper Local Union 1825.  In October of 1995, he was appointed to the Greensville County Board of Supervisors, representing Election District 1 and was elected in November of 1995 for District 1, where he served on the Board of Supervisors for the Zion District of Greensville County, Virginia, for 20 years

Upon life's journey, we are given opportunities to plant seeds of goodness, seeds of kindness, and seeds of blessings that bestow our hearts, our work, and our being. For those that sow the  fields with loving generosity, so shall they reap the abundant harvest of eternal life. His seeds are well-sown; his service on earth is complete, and he now experiences the victory and triumph of eternal life.  On Monday, September 23, 2019, Deacon James C. Vaughan left silently with an angel of God and transitioned from this earthly life; while in the care of Covenant Columns Manor, Richmond, Virginia.  James has been reunited with those who have gone on before him: his parents,  beloved wife, Eldora and  his precious son, Woodrow Vaughan.

A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest, God broke our hearts to prove to us, he only takes the best.  We who remain and are bound to treasure his life and legacy are: children, James Larry Vaughan (Carolyn) of Baltimore, Maryland, Dennis Wayne Vaughan and Sherry Lorraine Vaughan both of Richmond, Virginia;  grandchildren, Bradley Vaughan and Ashley Vaughan both of Richmond, Virginia, Corey Vaughan (Keisha) of Coppell, Texas, Tajahnee Vaughan Cross (Zachary) of Lafayette Hills, Pennsylvania and Renee' Vaughan-Dixon (Derrick) of Louisville, Kentucky; great-grandchildren, Brayden Vaughan, Brooklyn Vaughan, Kennedy Cross, Vaughan Cross, Morgan Cross, Ryan Dixon and Taylor Dixon;  siblings, Sanford Vaughan (Dorothy) of Windsor, North Carolina and Virginia Watkins (James) of Columbia, Maryland; sister-in-law, Pauline G. Wright of Richmond, Virginia;  a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

General Assembly Candidates’ Environmental Report Cards Reveal Partisan Divides

 

By Emma North, Capital News Service

RICHMOND -- The Sierra Club recently endorsed a number of candidates running on environmentally friendly platforms after its legislative scorecards — which give incumbents grades on their past environmental performance — presented a stark contrast between the priorities of the Democrat and Republican parties. 

Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond, said that while she can’t know what drives the legislative decision making of others, she thinks environmental issues end up being addressed as partisan issues. 

“I think when most people talk about themselves and their families, it’s very nonpartisan,” Adams said. “When it gets into policy making it becomes more partisan and sadly that may just be because people aren’t remembering that it’s affecting their people and their family.”

General Assembly members could be tasked with passing legislation in the 2020 session that tackles issues such as coal ash management, clean energy mandates, climate change, Chesapeake Bay management and public land protection. For example, Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-Prince William, campaigns on prioritizing the disposal of coal ash outside of her district, while Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Faquier, has focused her environmental support on the preservation of agricultural land. 

Nine legislators received an A-plus on the Sierra Club’s legislative scorecard for the 2019 General Assembly session, four from Prince William County. The lawmakers that received perfect scores were: 

Senators:

  • Sen. Jeremy McPike, D-Prince William

  • Sen. Lionell Spruill Sr., D-Chesapeake

Delegates: 

  • Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond 

  • Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Prince William

  • Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas

  • Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-Prince William

  • Del. Debra Rodman, D-Henrico 

  • Del. Danica Roem, D-Prince William

  • Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax

With the exception of Rodman who is now running for a seat in Senate District 12, all of these incumbents are running for reelection in November. 

Of the 140 incumbent General Assembly members, 15 scored a C grade. All but 14 Democrats scored a B or above and all of the Republicans scored a D or F except for Vogel, who earned a C. 

Vogel was recognized as a legislative hero by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. She represents District 27, which has a prominent agriculture industry and includes the counties of Frederick, Fauquier, Clarke, Stafford, Culpeper, Loudoun and the city of Winchester.

“I feel like I have to fight harder and do the right thing so that we have the opportunity to preserve agriculture and that means open space and that means good votes that usually skew more on ballots toward conservation votes,” Vogel said. 

The Republican Party of Virginia has a majority in the House of Delegates and Virginia Senate. The environment and clean energy are not included in the party’s priorities. 

“I wish I could have seen more of the candidates from both sides who are running for office talking about the environment,” said Guzman. “I believe that it should be part of the three main issues of your campaign if you are considering running for office.”

The legislative scorecard rated candidates based on how they voted on key bills, including HB 1934, which expanded the number of state agencies that can operate electric vehicle charging stations, and SB1456 and HB2329, which together would have removed barriers to generating solar energy.

“I think the environment is very important and as a legislator we have the responsibility to act today to secure the environment for future generations,” Guzman said. 

To help voters find candidates with environmentally conscious platforms the The Virginia LCV assembled a list of current endorsements to help voters find candidates with pro-environment platforms. Democrat Shelly Simonds is again challenging Del. David Yancey, R-Newport News, for the House seat in District 94. Simonds said her campaign includes promoting clean energy, expanding urban farming and increasing public transportation for Newport News. 

All of the Virginia LCV endorsements for 2019 are Democratic candidates with the exception of Del. Lee Ware, R-Powhatan. 

Adams said she is disappointed in how some legislators don’t act in favor of a healthy Virginia and thinks that solutions such as adding more greenery to urban areas shouldn’t deal with party lines. 

“I really do hope that there is some kind of global awakening,” Adams said. “We can't make the environment partisan.”

WARNER, KAINE INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL RELIEF TO VIRGINIA BEACH TRAGEDY FUND

~ Bill would permit the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund to receive tax deductible donations ~

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), member of the Senate Finance Committee, along with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) have introduced legislation to provide financial relief to the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund to help Virginia Beach shooting victims get the financial assistance they need. The Virginia Beach Strong Act would ensure that any donations made to the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund on behalf of the families of the dead or wounded victims of the mass shooting in Virginia Beach are tax-deductible.

“There is nothing we can do to undo this tragedy or bring back the individuals we lost in this senseless act of violence, but we can try to make it as easy as possible for families and those injured to get the relief they need,” said the Senators. “This legislation will further incentivize donations to the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund by making sure that contributions to victims and families are permitted to be treated as charitable contributions.”

U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives that is supported by Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Denver Riggleman (R-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA).

“On May 31st, our Virginia Beach community experienced an unspeakable tragedy that led to the loss of 12 wonderful people,” Rep. Luria said. “In the wake of our community’s darkest day, we saw countless selfless people donate to provide relief for grieving families. I am introducing the Virginia Beach Strong Act to make it easier to help bring more urgently-needed support to grieving families.”

On May 31, 2019, a gunman opened fire at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, killing 12 people and injuring four. Soon after, the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund was created to support the wounded victims and the families of those killed. However, because the fund was set up exclusively for the benefit of those affected by the tragedy, it violates a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable tax rule that prohibits charitable funds from being earmarked for specific individuals. As a result, donations to the fund are not currently tax-deductible for those making the contributions.

The Virginia Beach Strong Act would clarify that any contribution made for the relief of the families of the dead or wounded victims is treated as a tax-deductible contribution. This legislation would also apply retroactively, classifying any such contribution made on or after May 31, 2019 as tax-deductible.

Sens. Warner and Kaine, along with Rep. Luria have been fierce advocates for the victims and families affected by this mass shooting. In August, they successfully passed bicameral legislation to rename a Virginia Beach post office after Ryan “Keith” Cox, a longtime public utilities employee who, alongside other victims, sacrificed his own life to save others during the shooting. In June, Sens. Warner and Kaine wrote to the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to verify that victims and families were not being taxed on the contributions they were receiving. Additionally, the Senators secured unanimous passage earlier this year of a Senate resolution honoring the 12 victims of the Virginia Beach shooting.

The full text of the bill is available here.

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