PHOTOS: Campaign signs from Del. Chris Hurst incident
Less than 24 hours before election day, Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst, the democratic 12th District incumbent who ran for reelection, was pulled over by Radford City Sheriff’s deputies after his girlfirned in his car was allegedly seen tampering with campaign signs, according to Radford Sheriff Mark Armentrout.
Del. Chris Hurst pulled over after passenger allegedly takes campaign signs
Less than 24 hours before election day, Delegate Chris Hurst, the democratic incumbent candidate running for reelection to the Virginia House of Delegates’ 12th District, was pulled over by Radford City Sheriff’s deputies after a female passenger in his vehicle was allegedly seen taking campaign signs, according to Radford Sheriff Mark Armentrout. He told 10 News Hurst was driving with a suspended license and given a “driving while suspended notification” by a deputy.
GOP targets rural Democrats, rare breed in Virginia politics
Most of the battleground districts in this fall's critical elections for the Virginia House of Delegates are in the state's cities and suburbs, but Republicans are also targeting something of a rare breed in Virginia politics: Democrats who represent mostly rural districts.
Amtrak in New River Valley progress chugs ahead as Gov. Northam signs bill
The New River Valley is one step closer to having an Amtrak station after Gov. Chris Hurst introduced, will establish the New River Valley Passenger Rail Station Authority. According to officials, VDOT and Norfolk Southern are in the process of finalizing plans to bring passenger rail to Christiansburg. “I am excited about this major step towards bringing passenger rail to the New River Valley. The New River Valley is already a great place to live and this makes it even better.
Bill allowing for more compensation for Virginia frontline workers moves forward
ROANOKE, Va – A new bill aiming to protect frontline workers is heading to Gov. House Bill 1985 allows frontline healthcare workers to receive compensation for time taken off from work after they contracted COVID-19 in the workplace and helps cover medical expenses. Delegate Chris Hurst, who represents Radford, Giles County and parts of Montgomery and Pulaski counties, siad those who dedicate their lives to saving others deserve fair compensation. “We thought that we weren’t able to get this just 48 hours ago so I also have to say that we threw a Hail Mary, and we reached out to many people in leadership,” said Hurst. The bill would cover anyone who applied for compensation dating back to the state’s first state of emergency on March 12, 2020.
State, local leaders all aboard plan to build an Amtrak station in the New River Valley
The Virginia General Assembly is all aboard a plan to build a new Amtrak station in the New River Valley. On Monday, a bill to establish the NRV Passenger Rail Authority passed. The project has been years in the making and members of the local New River Valley Passenger Rail Initiative hope to locate the station on a parcel of land near the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. This project is just a small part of a statewide push to expand passenger rail service in Virginia. State transportation leaders are in negotiations with Norfolk Southern now, hoping to get $100 million to make a deal.
Passenger rail expansion measures likely to pass, good news for NRV rail proponents
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – While state leaders are working on some other projects for our region, folks in the New River Valley have been asking for passenger rail expansion and they are one step closer to getting it. As the trains continue rolling across the Commonwealth, the focus on passenger rail continues to grow. And Larry Hincker with the New River Valley Passenger Rail group is pleased with what he sees. Bills by Delegate Chris Hurst and Senator John Edwards to create a New River Valley Passenger Rail Authority have been received favorably. AdOn Wednesday, state lawmakers elected to keep $50 million in their budget earmarked for passenger rail expansion statewide.
General Assembly Crossover Day on Friday has local Democrats cheering success
RICHMOND, Va. – Friday is one of the most critical days for our lawmakers in Richmond. Crossover Day is when bills either pass between the House and Senate to continue on or die if they fail to gain enough support. On Thursday night, Delegate Chris Hurst, a Democrat representing the 12th District, hosted a virtual town hall to provide updates. He said Democrats are hailing this session as one of the most impactful of recent time. Hurst also said things look promising for the formation of a New River Valley Passenger Rail Authority.
What’s News Today: Community discussions, documentary screening
The Giles County School Board will meet today at 1 p.m. with the facilities committee. Delegate Chris Hurst will hold a Virtual Town Hall meeting today to talk to people in the 12th District about his work in the General Assembly and his priorities for the session. Roanoke’s Equity and Empowerment Advisory Board will meet virtually today. The meeting will take place virtually starting at 6:30 p.m. AdWashington and Lee University hosts a virtual screening of the documentary ‘Intimate Violence.’ It was produced and directed by a W&L Assistant Professor.
State lawmakers urge peace in Richmond amidst threats of possible violence
RICHMOND, Va. – With nationwide threats of violence at state capitals in the days ahead, Richmond is on alert and state lawmakers are sending a message. “I’m really ticked off about it, that the way to try and get what you want is to act in violence,” said Del. Chris Hurst, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 12th District, which covers Giles County and Radford, as well as parts of Montgomery and Pulaski counties. Kathy Byron, a Republican who represents Virginia’s 22nd District, which covers parts of Bedford, Campbell and Franklin counties, as well as part of Lynchburg. Sam Rasoul, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 11th District, which covers part of Roanoke.
Coronavirus relief top of mind for local lawmakers as General Assembly reconvenes Wednesday
RICHMOND, Va. – The General Assembly reconvenes Wednesday for a regular session that will look a little different because of the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus is not only dictating those circumstances but dominating the conversation for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. All four local representatives 10 News spoke with Tuesday agree that the coronavirus is top of mind; however, they differ on where to focus. Kathy Byron, a Republican who represents Virginia’s 22nd District, which covers parts of Bedford, Campbell and Franklin counties, as well as part of Lynchburg. Sam Rasoul, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 11th District, which covers part of Roanoke.
Virginia Redistricting Commission moves forward with citizen applications
ROANOKE, VA. – Virginia’s newly formed redistricting commission is drawing criticism after completing its first major step. Voters said yes to Amendment One back in November which enacted the commission. But the citizen applicants are under fire by some state lawmakers because the candidate pool is not as diverse as they wanted. The plan split Democrats with party leadership standing against it, while some, like Delegate Sam Rasoul, supported the plan. Hurst added he’s confident Southwest Virginia will end up with representation on the commission.
What’s News Today: future of education, Roanoke River search
Local legislators will join the Kiwanis Club of Roanoke today. The Zoom meeting begins at 12:30. The Task Force on the Future of Education and leaders from Lynchburg City Schools will meet virtually today. The virtual meeting begins at 5 p.m. The search is expected to continue today for a person, swept away by the Roanoke River over the weekend.
Police say no wrongdoing found in traffic stop involving Del. Chris Hurst
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – UPDATEAfter conducting an internal investigation following a traffic stop involving Del. The department announced the investigation at the end of last month after the Jan. 26, 2020 traffic stop involving Hurst caused some controversy. Christiansburg Police DepartmentORIGINAL STORYFriday at 10 a.m., the Christiansburg Police Department will announce the results of its internal investigation into a traffic stop involving Delegate Chris Hurst last month. The department announced the investigation at the end of last month after the Jan. 26, 2020 traffic stop involving Hurst caused some controversy. Chris Hurst traffic stop]Authorities say Hurst was pulled over by an officer around 2 a.m. on the US-460 overpass between the downtown Christiansburg and Peppers Ferry Road exits.
On hold: State senators kill legislative immunity proposal
RICHMOND, Va. – Changes to state legislators’ immunity from certain criminal charges will have to wait another year. A senate rules committee voted Friday to halt legislation that would revise the state constitution, which currently gives state legislators immunity from non-felony criminal charges while the General Assembly is in session and 15 days before and after the session ends. The proposed change was brought up after Del. Chris Hurst was stopped last month on suspicion of driving drunk, but was not arrested and was allowed to keep driving.
Resolution introduced to remove legislators’ immunity from Virginia constitution
Under the Constitution, no arrest could have been made.”Sen. Bryce Reeves, a Republican who represents Virginia’s 17th District, introduced SJ 87, a joint resolution on Thursday to remove the immunity of legislators clause currently present in Virginia’s constitution. Article IV, Section 9 - Constitution of VirginiaSen. Reeves’s proposed amendment would strike, “in all cases except treason, felony, or breach of the peace,” from the current document. How new Article IV, Section 9 would readStanley, a Republican who represents Virginia’s 20th district, is supports the bill. In 1997, Charles Waddell, introduced a joint resolution to change the language of Article IV, Section 9 of the Virginia constitution. How Article IV, Section 9 could have looked if resolution introduced in 1997 was ratifiedDelegate Charles Waddell was the bill’s chief patron.
Christiansburg police to launch internal investigation after Del. Chris Hurst traffic stop
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – After controversy arose regarding Sunday’s traffic stop of Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst, the Christiansburg Police Department is taking a closer look at what happened. Chris Hurst releases expanded statement after blowing .085 during traffic stop]Authorities say Hurst was pulled over by an officer around 2 a.m. on the US-460 overpass between the downtown Christiansburg and Peppers Ferry Road exits. The Police Department announced Thursday that an internal investigation has been initiated regarding the stop. This investigation will be completed within 30 days, according to a town spokeswoman. Chris Hurst wasn’t arrested]Below is the full statement from the Police Department announcing the investigation:
Do lawmakers have a get-out-of-jail-free card? Reasons why Del. Chris Hurst wasn’t arrested
Chris Hurst was pulled over on suspicion of driving drunk on Sunday morning, despite having a blood alcohol concentration of .085%, he wasn’t arrested. 10 News took a closer look at an article in the Virginia Constitution that protects lawmakers while the General Assembly is in session. Under the law, legislators can be arrested for “treason, felony, or breach of the peace" during sessions, but they’re immune from misdemeanors like DUIs. Under that same immunity law, legislators also can’t be arrested under any civil process during sessions or 15 days before and after a session. Virginia is not alone: There are similar laws in other states that give legislators immunity, like West Virginia and Arizona.
MADD Virginia hopes Del. Hurst joins their fight after weekend traffic stop
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Mothers Against Drunk Driving hopes that the incident involving Delegate Chris Hurst shines more light on the issue of DUI in the Commonwealth. MADD Virginia Director Chris Konschak said he understands that officers have discretion while on patrol, but he doesn’t want anyone driving under the influence. Chris Hurst could not have been arrested during traffic stop after blowing .085, says CA]He also said he hopes someone’s political position would not impact a possible arrest. “We also hope that the delegate will take some responsibility for his act in impaired driving and one not do it again and two help us with our mission to stop impaired driving,” Konschak said. Chris Hurst traffic stop]The Christiansburg police officer who pulled Hurst over has received a number of awards from MADD Virginia.
'I am not above the law’: Del. Chris Hurst releases expanded statement after blowing .085 during traffic stop
Chris Hurst released a longer statement Wednesday night after blowing .085 during a portable breath test during a traffic stop on Sunday morning. When the officer pulled over Hurst and approached the car, he said he noticed Hurst’s eyes were red and he smelled alcohol coming from inside the vehicle. According to the officer, he was aware that Hurst is a delegate, but that was not mentioned by anyone during the traffic stop. Here is a text message that Lt. Stephen Swecker, the officer who pulled over Hurst, sent to his superior after the traffic stop. Neither the officer nor Hurst mentioned this law, but the officer was aware of the law’s existence, because it’s taught during the police academy.
WATCH: Police dashcam footage shows Del. Chris Hurst traffic stop
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – This video shows Del. Chris Hurst being pulled over by an officer at about 2 a.m. on the US-460 overpass between the downtown Christiansburg and Peppers Ferry Road exits. During the stop, authorities said Hurst’s blood alcohol concentration came in at .085%, above the 0.80% legal limit. Click here for more information about the traffic stop. We have edited out a portion of the audio of the video because it contained private medical information.
$15/hour minimum wage in Virginia? The consequences for rural businesses
ROANOKE, Va. – Two separate bills proposed in the Virginia General Assembly would raise the minimum wage for workers to $15 per hour over the next three to five years starting July 1. That’s more than double the current hourly wage, $7.25, which is the federal minimum. However, the implications on businesses in southwest or central parts of the Commonwealth could be significant. The bills -- House Bill 395 and Senate Bill 7 -- would not apply to small or family-owned businesses with less than four employees, teenagers, and several other exceptions. “If employers are paying minimum wage, that’s going to be a very hard pill to swallow," Kassens said.
Democrats in control: What will pushback on new gun laws look like?
RICHMOND, Va. – With the start to the new legislative session in the General Assembly Wednesday, major changes could be on the way in Virginia, including new gun laws. The fiery debate over stricter gun laws is expected to begin early this session. “More gun control laws will be followed by all of these people because we’re law-abiding citizens, but the very criminals that break the laws now, will not follow these new laws,” said Franklin County resident Steve Huff. “We need to find at least two Democrats who believe the Second Amendment is as important as every other amendment. Democrats will also look at increasing education funding, which may be an issue where both parties can find common ground.
I-81 committee holds first meeting to address changes to 'killer' highway
Ive lived here for 43 years, and during that period of time, I-81 has gone from a safe and pleasant highway to one that I consider a killer. You're talking about project readiness. You're talking about project efficacy, project safety, environmental concerns," said Virginia Del. I think theres a lot of excitement.It won't just be this committee deciding the future of I-81. Not all the I-81 improvement projects fall under this committee, as some have other funding sources, and some of those projects will start as early as this fall.
Hurst says Republicans shouldn't have ended special session
Democratic Delegate Chris Hurst, who represents parts of the New River Valley, told 10 News on Wednesday that hes disappointed that no bills were passed in the special session meant to address gun violence, which Republicans ended Tuesday. After many people accused Democrats of calling for the special session purely to stage political theater or a distraction, hes now critical of Republicans for taking that kind of action. Lets actually have that be a special session, he said. That what if has tormented me from the day I personally became affected by gun violence, Hurst said Tuesday in the chamber. GUN RIGHTS SUPPORTERS PLEASEDMany gun rights supporters were at the capitol on Tuesday demonstrating and meeting with lawmakers.