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    Virginia gubernatorial candidate Jennifer Carroll Foy won the support of a major transit union that backed President BidenJoe BidenBiden balks at K student loan forgiveness plan Biden offers to help woman in obtaining vaccine for son with preexisting condition Biden optimistic US will be in 'very different circumstance' with pandemic by Christmas MORE in the 2020 presidential race.  Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) endorsed Foy in a statement exclusively obtained by The Hill on Wednesday, pledging to register the union's members to vote and to take part "in the all-out effort to elect Jennifer Carroll Foy.”  “Jennifer Carroll Foy has been a true champion of working people throughout her career. She will fight to rebuild the middle class, bolster public transit, restore the rights of labor, and help Virginia recover from this devastating pandemic,” ATU International President John Costa said. ATU made headlines last year in the 2020 presidential election when...
    The teachers’ union in Prince George’s County, Maryland, said key safety measures must be met before teachers and students return to their classrooms. In an open letter to its members dated Feb. 8, the Prince George’s County Educators’ Association said the school system has not yet addressed its request for investment in facilities upgrades, specifically adequate air-filtration systems in every room where there are students and teachers. Also needed, according to the letter, is investment in COVID-19 testing, tracing and vaccination, with vaccinations phased in and aligned with those being asked to go back in buildings. The letter signed by Theresa Dudley, president of the Prince George’s County Educators’ Association, said the union wants to develop jointly with the school system a safety agreement for the return to school buildings. Still lacking, according to the letter, among other things are clear plans, protocols and communication when there are COVID-19 outbreaks...
    The Washington Teachers’ Union has voted against authorizing a strike, but in a letter to D.C. officials, members said they want a way to address emergency issues in a timely manner. In a letter to schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee and Mayor Muriel Bowser, the union said the decision demonstrates that its members want to work with District leaders on urgent action to “safely reopen schools and want to exhaust all other remedies before authorizing a strike.” Earlier this month, D.C. had asked for a temporary order to prevent the union from engaging in a strike that would have stopped the reopening of some schools for in-person learning. Among the requests the union is making is the opening of a “Situation Room” to identify and respond to emergency issues requiring responses within 24 hours. The union said it wants to work with D.C. Public Schools on the matter. The members also...
    On the first day back to school for about 9,000 D.C. Public Schools students, the Washington Teachers’ Union said some buildings did not meet the safety fixes the District agreed to make — and now teachers are threatening to strike. Union President Elizabeth Davis said that because teachers found some necessary changes were not made upon their return, they are now questioning which other metrics were not addressed. “Teachers want to go back to in-school learning when they are assured that the buildings are safe,” Davis said. The union wants DCPS Chancellor Lewis Ferebee and Mayor Muriel Bowser to agree to host walk-throughs of each school building with parents, teachers and other stakeholders, so everyone can feel they are proceeding safely with in-person learning. If not, Davis said, they’ll have no choice but to poll members on whether they want to take a vote to strike. Ahead of her statement...
    A West Virginia teachers’ union is planning to take legal action to halt Gov. Jim Justice’s plan to reopen all elementary and middle schools for in-person schooling five days a week. According to the West Virginia American Federation of Teachers, reopening all the schools would put the health and safety of school employees at risk. The injunction will be filed against the West Virginia State Board of Education, the Department of Education and several county boards of education. “Appointed policymakers issuing in-person learning mandates to local boards, who are duly elected by the citizens of their communities to govern their local schools, is an incredible overstepping of authority,” the union said in a news release. “To make such a decision while meeting virtually and behind closed doors is astoundingly tone deaf.” The Center Square reached out to the West Virginia American Federation of Teachers, the governor’s office...
              Virginia Education Association (VEA) president James Fedderman wants public schools in the Commonwealth to go to fully virtual learning until teachers and school staff receive vaccinations to stop the spread of coronavirus in schools. Fedderman asked the governor and school leaders around the state to facilitate the instructional switch in a video published to the VEA website on Friday. “Our public schools must return to all-virtual instruction until all of our staff members have been vaccinated,” Fedderman said. “Governor Northam this week said getting Virginians vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to end this pandemic, rebuild our economy, and move the Commonwealth forward,” Fedderman continued. “We commend Governor Northam for that, and we call upon the Governor, school board, and school superintendents to keep all students and staff safe with virtual instruction until staff are vaccinated.” Fedderman also said in the...
    A nonprofit organization that advocates for families is accusing Fairfax County teachers union officials of violating Virginia law that prohibits public-sector strikes when the union organized with hundreds of teachers to take a mental health sick day in October. According to Virginia law, a public-sector employee is deemed to have terminated his or her employment if the employee refuses to perform his or her duties as a means to obstruct, impede or suspend an operation of the government employer in concert with two or more employees. The law states such a person will not be eligible for employment by a public agency for 12 months after the strike. The Fairfax Education Association (FEA), which represents 4,000 of the county’s 25,000 teachers and staff, urged teachers to take a mental health sick day Oct. 28, which was two days before a deadline for teachers to state whether they would...
              The Virginia Education Association (VEA) is calling for all public schools in the Commonwealth to switch to virtual instruction for the next month because of the recent rise in COVID-19 numbers throughout the state. VEA President Dr. James Fedderman issued the statement online Thursday. “I am calling on Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the superintendents and school boards across this great Commonwealth to immediately order a conversion to all-virtual instruction in public schools until at least mid-January 2021, when the numbers can be re-evaluated,” Fedderman said. “Those governing our public schools owe it to the students, their families and communities, and our hard-working teachers and support professionals to minimize [COVID] exposures, not compound them,” Fedderman continued. In his statement, Fedderman did concede that virtual learning is not a true substitute for traditional instruction and that the students’ learning losses will be made up....
    With COVID-19 infections continuing to surge in Maryland, a teachers union wants the state to require schools to stick with virtual learning until at least mid-January. The request comes in a letter sent Tuesday from Cheryl Bost, president of the Maryland State Education Association, to state schools Superintendent Karen Salmon. Many school districts across the state have paused or reversed plans to resume in-person learning. “But they’re stating that, we’ll re-evaluate in two weeks, or we’ll re-evaluate in three weeks,” Bost said. “This uncertainty is really causing stress for our educators, and for families who can’t do scheduling.” Bost is urging Salmon to make a statewide announcement. “We really are asking for certainty to be provided, at least until the end of the semester, (so) that everyone knows, with these increased number of cases, that we are going to be in a virtual environment. Everyone can plan better and be...
    The Washington Teachers’ Union has refused to sign a tentative agreement with D.C. Public Schools to reopen classrooms for in-person instruction. In a statement, the union said school officials haven’t been transparent about reopening plans. ” … Given the lack of clear public health guidelines and the lack of engagement with administrators and teachers around reopening plans, the WTU has determined it is not in the best interest of our students, teachers and all school-based employees to sign the MOA at this time,” union President Elizabeth Davis said in a release. The union had tentatively agreed to the deal last week — it would have allowed teachers to opt out of in-person teaching through January. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said this is not the first time the union has backed away from a seemingly done deal. “I think it’s unfortunate given that the president of the teachers’ union indicated her...
    A federal grand jury returned an indictment this week charging a Quantico man with wire fraud in connection with his scheme to embezzle over $380,000 from his former union, which represented federal law enforcement officers. According to allegations in the indictment, Arthur Penn, 64, served from 1999 through 2015 as the Chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police Defense Protective Service Labor Committee Pentagon, a local union that represented officers of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency. During his tenure, Penn allegedly routinely embezzled funds from the Union for his personal benefit, and spent the stolen funds on gambling, to pay for a personal trip to the Dominican Republic, and for his day-to-day living expenses. Penn sought to conceal and prevent the detection of his embezzlement by failing to make regular reports to Union members, by violating his obligation to file...
    Amid stalled negotiations between teachers and D.C. Public Schools about how to return students to in-person learning, the local teachers’ union urged educators to call out sick Monday and take a mental health day. It wasn’t clear how many teachers participated, though some principals reportedly had to cancel classes because of teacher shortages. The protest came just as the school system announced it would not reopen elementary school classrooms for most students next week as planned, citing the need to readjust staffing. In a statement Monday, schools Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said, “We have heard feedback from many in our community about” the school system’s reopening plan, “and we will use this moment to adjust our timeline and staffing plans for reopening.” The plan, announced last month, allowed for up to 75% of elementary school students eventually returning to classrooms starting Nov. 9. Washington Teachers’ Union President Elizabeth Davis told WTOP...
    A union representing teachers in Virginia’s largest school system believes instructors and parents have been ambushed by a dual announcement from the Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent, demanding a decision about returning to classrooms that will begin deploying a new form of instruction. “We are doing concurrent learning; this is the model we will use,” first-grade teacher Emily Vanderhoff said, paraphrasing a return-to-school update released late last Friday afternoon. “And, all these parents have been calling our principals saying, ‘What is concurrent learning?’” said Vanderhoff, who is a board member for the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers. Concurrent instruction involves students who log in from home and kids in the classroom getting the same instruction from the same teacher at the same time. According to the email notice, the school system will be contacting parents and caregivers to reconfirm previously stated preferences for children to continue virtual learning or their...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia teachers union lost its bid Friday to stop the state from using its color-coded map to decide whether counties can hold in-person public school classes and athletic competitions during the coronavirus pandemic. Judge Carrie Webster denied the West Virginia Education Association's request for a preliminary injunction after Gov. Jim Justice's attorney argued the court lacked jurisdiction and said the union did not have evidence that the map is not a rational approach tailored to West Virginia, WCHS-TV reported. The union's president, Dale Lee, testified that 67% of teachers surveyed had compromising health issues and fears or relatives who were home sick. After the ruling, Lee said the WVEA was disappointed in the outcome. “By choosing to use the lesser of the infection rate or the percentage of positive tests, WVEA and its members believe the governor’s color-coded map changes have created a false...
    A teachers’ union in Virginia is calling for a school district to reevaluate its plans for students and teachers to return to classrooms next month, saying that health data does not support the move. In a virtual town hall this week, Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand laid out plans for a gradual resumption of in-person learning beginning on Nov. 16. Chairs fill an empty classroom.   (iStock) Brabrand assured parents that the school district is following CDC guidelines to require face coverings, increase cleaning and disinfecting, as well as social distancing and hand washing, among other safety measures. But the teachers’ union, the Fairfax Education Association, said resuming in-person learning will pose health risks to students, staff, and the community at large. “[O]ur union feels very strongly that right now virtual learning is the safest way to provide some instructions for our community,” Carly Okouchi,...
    The Fairfax County Public Schools is pushing for in-person learning despite a teachers union petition demanding the schools stay virtual for the rest of the academic year. Scott Brabrand, superintendent of schools, said the district is collaborating to make sure students can go back to in-person learning safely, the Fairfax County Public Schools said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. The Fairfax Education Association shared a petition on Twitter on Sept. 30, calling on the Fairfax County School Board to keep the district’s public schools virtual for the rest of the academic year, but according to the district, numerous “teachers, families, businesses, and the community at large” supported the “return to in-person learning.” “We firmly believe that while virtual environments are necessary at the current time, students learn best in-person. That experience cannot fully be duplicated on a screen,” the district’s statement said. (RELATED: Fairfax County School Board Votes To Name Robert E Lee...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man has been sentenced to a year in prison for embezzling about $50,000 from a labor union. Rick Drain, 56, of Vienna, was sentenced in federal court in Charleston. Prosecutors say he also agreed to pay restitution. Drain was the business manager of a local union chapter who used his position to pocket the dues and fees collected from union members instead of depositing them into a bank account, prosecutors said. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: West Virginia, Associated Press
    As public schools in D.C. and Virginia move forward toward welcoming students back, local teachers unions are concerned about safety. The Washington Teachers Union said it has concerns about the air in some D.C. schools. “To date, DCPS has failed to release information on the finding of their analysis and no details on repairs to air systems,” said Elizabeth Davis, president of the Washington Teachers Union. She said that the union disagreed with the public schools on what was on the safety checklist for school walk-throughs before students return to their classrooms. “For us, it is imperative. Parents need to know and so do teachers and other school workers,” Davis said. She said that the union wants to see the schools that don’t have central air have a ventilation system installed in every room. The union also demands more transparency on the repairs to air systems, a detailed list of...
    MANASSAS, Va. (WJZ/AP) — A northern Virginia teachers’ union is apologizing after some of its members used child-size coffins as props at a protest seeking to delay in-person education. The Prince William Education Association posted the apology on its Facebook page early Thursday. The union said that 100 cars participated in the protest caravan Wednesday, and that two of the cars were decorated in a way that some found offensive. “The PWEA sanctioned the caravan. We encouraged our members to build signs and decorate their cars,” the group wrote. “Please accept our sincerest apologies,” they added. School boards across Virginia and the U.S. are weighing plans to transition students forced into virtual learning because of the coronavirus pandemic back into the classroom. Many teachers’ unions have voiced opposition, citing concern for staff and students’ safety. (© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be...
    MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia teachers' union is apologizing after some of its members used child-size coffins as props at a protest seeking to delay in-person education. The Prince William Education Association posted the apology on its Facebook page early Thursday. The union said that 100 cars participated in the protest caravan Wednesday, and that two of the cars were decorated in a way that some found offensive. School boards across Virginia and the U.S. are weighing plans to transition students forced into virtual learning because of the coronavirus pandemic back into the classroom. Many teachers' unions have voiced opposition, citing concern for staff and students' safety. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Associated Press, Virginia, Washington, D.C.
    For the second time this week, the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers has asked Virginia’s largest school system to delay this month’s start of in-person learning. Fairfax County Public Schools said it’s ready to safely bring back special education students and English language learners — about 3.5% of its nearly 188,000 students. While school Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand has offered assurances that the school system is ready to return its most vulnerable students, the teachers’ union said nearly 86% of its members surveyed by the union indicated they lack confidence in the school system’s reopening plan. “We are urging FCPS to delay reopening until there is a clear plan in place to keep everyone safe and the district adopts our 11 pillars of a safe reopening,” said Tina Williams, the union’s president. The school system said it has a clear plan to keep teachers, students, staff and their families safe....
    The union representing D.C. police officers is accusing the District and the police department of not fully compensating them for work done during the pandemic. The D.C. Police Union names Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and the department in a federal lawsuit filed in D.C. District Court. The suit seeks unpaid overtime, alleging a District failure to include $14 per-diem hazard payments in the pay rate upon which their overtime is based. “This failure results in the employees receiving overtime compensation at an unlawfully low rate when they work in excess of the [Fair Labor Standards Act]’s overtime threshold and represents a clear violation of the law,” said the union’s attorneys in a statement. Bowser authorized the per-diem payment back in April for any District employees who had to physically go to work during the District’s public health emergency. The suit contends the District and D.C. police...
    By JOHN RABY, Associated Press CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia teachers union on Monday filed a legal challenge to the state's color-coded map that determines whether counties can hold in-person public school classes and athletic competitions during the coronavirus pandemic. The West Virginia Education Association said the filing in Kanawha County Circuit Court seeks to replace the school reentry map that has undergone multiple changes by Republican Gov. Jim Justice and state officials with one compiled by independent health experts. The map uses five colors ranging from green to red to determine a county's public school status, depending on the local spread of virus cases. But critics, including the WVEA, said the sheer number of changes to the map has been confusing. “Our members have watched the constant manipulation of the map,” union President Dale Lee said in a statement. “As each rendition failed to provide the desired...
              A campus workers union at the University of Virginia (UVA) has launched a mutual fund in order to provide university staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) and raise money in the form of an emergency fund for potential furloughs as in-person instruction began Tuesday. The union, United Campus Workers of Virginia at UVA (UCWVA-UVA), announced the formation of the fund via press release. The announcement comes after concerns and reports of campus workers having limited or insufficient PPE and the possibility of workers being furloughed or fired if UVA is forced to close because of COVID-19, the release said. “It is deeply concerning that workers are fearing for their jobs and personal health after all of UVA’s reassurances, and points to more of the same lack of transparency and preparedness which has defined the university’s response to this crisis, “Rosa Hamilton, a graduate...
            by Tyler Arnold  A recent poll of likely voters in Virginia shows most Virginians across party lines oppose granting unions the authority to protect police from disciplinary action or create policies that threaten accountability. Virginia lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year that allows collective bargaining for public-sector unions, including police unions, if local governments pass ordinances that allow it. The bills permit local policies that allow disciplinary and policy decisions to be settled through binding arbitration, meaning an arbiter could overrule a police department’s disciplinary actions and policies designed to hold officers accountable. The legislation is effective May 2021. In some states that allow police unions to collectively bargain, it has led to departments that have cooling-off periods, in which officers cannot be asked questions about a shooting until a certain amount of time has passed. Other policies include a statute of limitations for police...
    A recent poll of likely voters in Virginia shows most Virginians across party lines oppose granting unions the authority to protect police from disciplinary action or create policies that threaten accountability. Virginia lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year that allows collective bargaining for public-sector unions, including police unions, if local governments pass ordinances that allow it. The bills permit local policies that allow disciplinary and policy decisions to be settled through binding arbitration, meaning an arbiter could overrule a police department’s disciplinary actions and policies designed to hold officers accountable. The legislation is effective May 2021. In some states that allow police unions to collectively bargain, it has led to departments that have cooling-off periods, in which officers cannot be asked questions about a shooting until a certain amount of time has passed. Other policies include a statute of limitations for police violating protocol. According to...
    Three D.C. Circulator routes will extend their hours until 11 p.m., starting Sunday, Aug. 30. The following routes will run from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends: Union Station — Georgetown Rosslyn — Dupont Circle Woodley Park — Adams Morgan — McPherson Square Service on the National Mall route continues to be suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Congress Heights — Union Station and Eastern Market — L’Enfant Plaza routes end service at 9 p.m., their normal time. More Coronavirus News Sign up for WTOP alerts Latest coronavirus test results in DC, Maryland and Virginia What to expect when DC students start school Monday: Enrollment, vaccinations and more Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.
              University of Virginia employees have formed a new union and launched a campaign Monday centered around moving the school’s current hybrid instruction model to a fully virtual fall semester. The union, United Campus Workers of Virginia (UCW-VA), is composed of undergraduate and graduate student workers as well as university faculty and staff, according to a press release about the union and campaign.  “[The union] just came out of frustration from employees of the university with the way the school was moving ahead without soliciting well rounded feedback from its workers, from faculty, from graduate [teaching assistants], from staff members,” said Crystal Luo, a graduate student and UCW-VA steering committee member, in an interview with The Virginia Star. “As the summer has gone on and then fall semester is getting ready to start I think that concerns have only become more acute.” The union’s inaugural...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia teachers’ union is urging public schools to avoid face-to-face instruction when students return next month due to the coronavirus. The West Virginia Education Association suggested the online-only start Thursday based on a survey of the union’s membership. WVEA President Dale Lee said most of the respondents felt uncomfortable returning to classrooms under their individual county’s reopening plans. In addition, nearly all members were skeptical that students could effectively maintain social distancing and wear masks. “Full distance learning will give time for counties to get a handle on the situation and to further iron out the details on how the next steps of the school re-entry will be handled in each location,” Lee said. Gov. Jim Justice has pushed back the start of the school year to Sept. 8. He said recently that a final decision on the reopening would have to be made...
    By JOHN RABY, Associated Press CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia teachers’ union is urging public schools to avoid face-to-face instruction when students return next month due to the coronavirus. The West Virginia Education Association suggested the online-only start Thursday based on a survey of the union’s membership. WVEA President Dale Lee said most of the respondents felt uncomfortable returning to classrooms under their individual county’s reopening plans. In addition, nearly all members were skeptical that students could effectively maintain social distancing and wear masks. “Full distance learning will give time for counties to get a handle on the situation and to further iron out the details on how the next steps of the school re-entry will be handled in each location,” Lee said. Gov. Jim Justice has pushed back the start of the school year to Sept. 8. He said recently that a final decision on the reopening...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Education Association's political action committee has endorsed Democratic candidate for governor Ben Salango. The committee made the announcement Tuesday. Salango, an attorney and Kanawha county commissioner, is running against incumbent Republican Gov. Jim Justice in November. Salango also has been endorsed by the United Mine Workers of America, the state chapters of the AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers union. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: West Virginia
    A recent study of collectively bargained deals negotiated by police unions nationwide found these deals often scale back accountability and shield police from disciplinary action. Before this year, public-sector collective bargaining was banned in Virginia. But after Democrats won control of the House and Senate, party leaders were able to pass legislation to end that prohibition, and Gov. Ralph Northam signed it into law. The law will go into effect in May 2021. The new law allows local governments to permit their employees, including police, to enter into collective bargaining agreements with their unions. The law allows many disputes to be settled via binding arbitration, which means salary negotiations, disciplinary policies and disciplinary actions potentially could be decided by an arbiter. In other states that have similar laws, the study conducted by the free-market, Virginia-based Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy found unions negotiated deals many criminal...
            by Tyler Arnold  A recent study of collectively bargained deals negotiated by police unions nationwide found these deals often scale back accountability and shield police from disciplinary action. Before this year, public-sector collective bargaining was banned in Virginia. But after Democrats won control of the House and Senate, party leaders were able to pass legislation to end that prohibition, and Gov. Ralph Northam signed it into law. The law will go into effect in May 2021. The new law allows local governments to permit their employees, including police, to enter into collective bargaining agreements with their unions. The law allows many disputes to be settled via binding arbitration, which means salary negotiations, disciplinary policies and disciplinary actions potentially could be decided by an arbiter. In other states that have similar laws, the study conducted by the free-market, Virginia-based Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy found unions negotiated...
    By ANTHONY IZAGUIRRE, Associated Press CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service is considering closing post offices across the country, sparking concerns ahead of an anticipated surge of mail-in ballots in the 2020 elections, U.S. Sen Joe Manchin and a union leader said Wednesday. Manchin said he has received numerous reports from post offices and colleagues about service cuts or looming closures in West Virginia and elsewhere, prompting him to send a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy asking for an explanation. The possible cutbacks come as DeJoy, a major donor to President Donald Trump who took control of the agency last month, moves to eliminate overtime for hundreds of thousands of postal workers, potentially causing a delay in mail deliveries. A recent document from the Postal Service, obtained by The Associated Press, described the need for an "operational pivot" to make the cash-strapped agency financially stable. “It’s just...
    Public schools in Fairfax County, Virginia, will begin all classes virtually in September, but the county’s teachers union is trying to get the system to address issues for other support staffers like bus drivers, secretaries and custodians, who feel they’ve been left out of the discussions and undervalued. The Fairfax County Federation of Teachers is recommending that those staffers should also have the option of working virtually, suggesting they could be used to assist class instruction, along with the social and emotional health of students. “We urge FCPS to reconsider recent treatment of our support employees,” the union said in a written statement. “FCPS support staff are not a monolith: they represent a wide variety of skill sets, talents, experience, and ideas. They are unified, however, in feeling less valued and less respected than teachers and administrators.” The union also mentioned the impact on instructional assistants, or IAs for short,...
    A statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee and busts of seven other confederate leaders were quietly removed from the Virginia State Capitol under the cover of night Thursday by order of its Democratic House Leader.  The 900-pound, bronze Lee statue and busts of Gen. Stonewall Jackson and Confederate President Jefferson Davis and other members of the Confederacy were removed from the old House chamber under orders from House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, a Democrat from Fairfax. The additional monuments removed were of Fitzhugh Lee, J.E.B. Stuart, Matthew Fontaine Maury, Joseph E. Johnston and Alexander Stephens, plus a plaque honoring Thomas Bocock. All were placed in an undisclosed location.  Workmen remove a bust of Joseph E. Johnston before moving on to a statue of Robert E. Lee from the Viriginia State Capitol Thursday, under orders from House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, a Democrat from Fairfax Workmen haul away a bust of...
    Nurses who work at Medstar Washington Hospital Center are demanding new personal protective equipment, saying the hospital continues to provide disinfected masks to reuse. “It’s really remarkable that we are here in this situation, still demanding basic supplies to keep us safe,” said Michelle Mahon, with National Nurses United. The union held a livestream event to demand a change for nurses at one of the D.C. area’s largest hospitals. It is asking “optimal PPE be provided to the registered nurses and that the hospital abandons the Battelle so-called ‘decontamination’ process for N95 respirators, which leads to the use of unsanitary and soiled masks,” the NNU said in a release. In a statement, Medstar Washington Hospital Center said it has continued to invest in new PPE and has met multiple times since May with the union to explain that global demand exceeds supply. “The safety of our associates is always a...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The head of a West Virginia teachers’ union expressed doubt Monday that public schools can reopen with face-to-face instruction in early September based on recent trends with the coronavirus pandemic. “If we were to start school today, it’s not safe,” Fred Albert, president of the state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, said at a news conference. He held out hope that the outlook will improve, but “we’re not there now.” Earlier this month, Republican Gov. Jim Justice targeted Sept. 8 as a tentative date to open schools, noting that the timing could change depending on the state’s virus caseload. Many schools districts had been set to start instruction by mid-August. Justice said Monday that he’s “absolutely not willing” to reopen schools unless he’s certain, based on expert advice, that it’s “safe and the thing to do.” While the state has issued tentative guidance on...
    By JOHN RABY, Associated Press CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The head of a West Virginia teachers' union expressed doubt Monday that public schools can reopen with face-to-face instruction in early September based on recent trends with the coronavirus pandemic. “If we were to start school today, it's not safe,” Fred Albert, president of the state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, said at a news conference. He held out hope that the outlook will improve, but “we're not there now.” Earlier this month, Republican Gov. Jim Justice targeted Sept. 8 as a tentative date to open schools, noting that the timing could change depending on the state’s virus caseload. Many schools districts had been set to start instruction by mid-August. Justice said Monday that he’s “absolutely not willing” to reopen schools unless he’s certain, based on expert advice, that it’s “safe and the thing to do.” While the state...
    Washington (CNN)Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that he would be introducing legislation to make Juneteenth a paid state holiday."It's time we elevate this, not just a celebration by and for some Virginians, but one acknowledged and celebrated by all of us," Northam, a Democrat, said at a news conference in Richmond.Northam said Virginia ceremonially recognizes Juneteenth Independence Day with an annual written proclamation, "but we need to do much more." His action, Northam said, would formalize that observation.The June 19 holiday celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. It commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, and told slaves of their emancipation -- more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and months after the end of the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation declared all slaves in the states held by the Confederacy to be free. In...
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