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Marlene Jones

Stories by Marlene

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Governor proposes new mental health funding

Issues executive order establishing task force on improving services

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) will include funding for mental health services in his upcoming budget. He will also sign an executive order forming a "Mental Health Task Force" to make further recommendations for reforms.

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Va. Democrats file suit to stop voter purge

“For him to be a candidate on the ballot and the adviser to a dubious effort to take voting rights away from 57,000 Virginians is an inexcusable conflict of interest that’s become all too common for the attorney general

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"Virginia Adopts" campaign reaches major milestone

In just four months since its launch, "Virginia Adopts: Campaign for 1,000" has helped more than 800 children from Virginia’s foster care system be adopted or be matched with a family who is going through the process of adopting.

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Newly minted Democratic ticket unites on job creation

Contrasts difference with Republican ticket

The newly-elected Democratic ticket of Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam, and Mark Herring appeared at Richmond's Hippodrome Theater for a Democratic Party of Virginia "Unity Breakfast" on Wednesday morning following Tuesday's Democratic primary.

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RPV names director of African American engagement

The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) and the Republican National Committee wants to engage blacks in a big way this election cycle. To this end, party leaders have named Rev. Dr. Joe Ellison, Jr. to serve as the Virginia state director of African American engagement.

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RRHA celebrates Section 3 successes, advocates further complaints

A month after a group of local justice advocates filed complaints with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) against the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) for “non-compliance” with Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, the housing authority has rolled out its response.

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Local non-profit struggles to keep doors open

The Balm in Gilead issues plea for help

Dr. Pernessa Seele has sent an urgent letter to supporterss urging financial help for the non-profit organization she founded more than 23 years ago. The Balm In Gilead, Inc., which develops educational and training programs designed to meet the unique needs of African American and African congregations that strive to become community centers for health education and disease prevention, is struggling to keep its doors open. Part of the struggle has come from funding cuts due to sequestration. "We really need your help!," wrote Seele in her June 5 e-mailed letter, in which she notes that it is an urgent matter of the non-profit's viability.

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Judge Wilkins nominated to 2nd highest court

President Barack Obama today nominated an African American judge to the second highest court in the United States. Among the three candidates for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was Judge Robert Leon Wilkins, who currently serving as a U.S. district judge for D.C. The other nominees are Patricia Ann Millett, a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington; and Georgetown University law professor Cornelia T.L. Pillard. The U.S. Senate must confirm Wilkins and the other nominees. His path to confirmation may be clear based on his history with the Senate, which confirmed him to his current position without opposition in 2010. The president, in his remarks announcing the nominations, asked the Senate to abide by their "constitutional duty to promptly consider judicial nominees for confirmation."

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AG rules out executive order for rights restoration

Recommends that a state agency handle applications

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said on May 28 that he has ruled out the viability of an executive order to automatically restore civil rights for ex-felons who have completed their sentences. The state's lawyer said that the governor does not have the constitutional authority to do so, according to the results of an advisory committee, formed by the attorney general in March to explore ways of achieving automatic rights restoration without the General Assembly. Cuccinelli, a Republican running for governor in 2013, instead recommended streamlining the current application process by assigning a state agency to approve individual applications.

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Richmond’s largest R & B music and food festival moves to RIR

Stone Soul 2013 to be held June 1

The 9th Annual Stone Soul Music and Food Festival is set for Saturday, June 1, at Richmond International Raceway Complex on Laburnum Avenue from noon. Hosted by Radio One dubbed "The Urban Media Specialist", the festival is undoubtedly Richmond’s premiere R & B, gospel and urban contemporary music festival. This year's line up "promises [to be] a day of inspiration, R & B and soul for the entire family," noted the radio company. The full length performance line up includes inspirational artists Tamela Mann, James Fortune and Wess Morgan plus R & B and hip hop sets by "American Idol" Fantasia Barrino, Bell Biv Devoe, Raheem Devaughn, Future, B.O.B. and French Montana. In addition, Hi Five and Cameosis will also perform along with Hip Hop Violinist Josh Vietti.

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Democrats split over Thompson

Morrissey chastises DPVA primary over spending

Get “rid of a turncoat Lieberman-esque Democrat who has done way too much to empower her state's reactionary Republicans, while also building our bench with a potential future star.” So reads part of a recent endorsement by The Daily Kos, a well-known liberal online and political community and news source as it seeks to influence the race for the 63rd Virginia House District. The primary race between incumbent Rosalyn Dance and newcomer Evandra Thompson has split Virginia Democrats for months now and there is no sign of the rift closing before the June 11 primary elections. Just this week, one of Thompson's strongest supporters, Del. Joe Morrissey (Richmond and Henrico County) accused his fellow state Democrats of misusing party resources on the race for House seat is heavily Democratic seat that unlikely to face any challenge from a Republican in November. “The Democratic party and the House Democratic caucus need to focus on getting Democrats out of the deep minority not picking favorites in safe Democratic seats” said Delegate Morrissey. “For the party to spend precious resources for Ros Dance, a Democrat who has stood against Medicaid expansion and supported the Republicans’ secret redistricting plan, is an outrage. Donors should think twice about where they put their resources this cycle. They very well could be going to support a Republican in Democrats’clothing.”