Virginia lawmakers pleased with criminal justice reform measures passed during legislative session
ROANOKE, Va – As the General Assembly session comes to an end, lawmakers are pleased with some of the major criminal justice reform measures taken during the session. From abolishing the death penalty to the push for legalizing marijuana, Del. Sam Rasoul says he hopes to see legislators continue to push for bipartisan work on improving the criminal justice system. Several bills still need to be signed by Gov. Ralph Northam before becoming law.
Here’s why Roanoke was trending on Twitter for much of Tuesday
Roanoke is trending on Twitter after a tweet about a 1970s reality dating show featured a prize: a stay at Hotel Roanoke. Second prize: TWO weeks in beautiful Roanoke!”First prize: A week in beautiful Roanoke! Hotel Roanoke decided to join in on the fun by offering a Trending Tuesday Giveaway. AdWith #Roanoke trending, thanks to @StephenKing and @emilynussbaum, we are giving away a Romance Package of an overnight stay with breakfast! @VisitVirginia @visitvbr @City_of_Roanokehttps://t.co/QGBF7ysNiu pic.twitter.com/1005vbdhqU — The Hotel Roanoke (@TheHotelRoanoke) February 9, 2021“This was one of those moments where we get to showcase positives,” said Hotel Roanoke General Manager Brian Wells.
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.
Roanoke Del. Sam Rasoul announces run for lieutenant governor
Sam Rasoul has officially announced that he is running for lieutenant governor of Virginia. This comes after he filed the initial paperwork indicating a run last month and originally expressed interest in August. Sam RasoulRasoul currently represents the Commonwealth’s 11th District, which includes the city of Roanoke. Hayla Ayala, who represents Virginia’s 51st district, De. Elizabeth Guzman of Virginia’s 31st District and Paul Goldman, a former chairman of Virginia’s Democratic Party, have announced their candidacy.
Roanoke Del. Sam Rasoul files paperwork to run for lieutenant governor
Sam Rasoul has filed initial paperwork indicating a run for Lt. Rasoul currently represents the Commonwealth’s 11th District, which includes the city of Roanoke. Over the next few weeks, I will decide whether a bid for Lieutenant Governor is the right decision for my family and Virginia.”So far, Democrat Del. Hayla Ayala, who represents Virginia’s 51st district, De. Elizabeth Guzman of Virginia’s 31st District and Paul Goldman, a former chairman of Virginia’s Democratic Party, have announced their candidacy.
Roanoke delegate calls out education system after a teacher delivers his pizza
ROANOKE, Va. – Elizabeth Sweet has taught elementary school students for a decade and says in order to make ends meet, she still has to work extra jobs. "There’s a really high likelihood you’ll find a teacher working outside of the school building.”Del. Sam Rasoul said one of those encounters led him to write an emotional tweet about teacher pay. Screw any system in which a teacher has to deliver pizza after school to make ends meet. Sweet said Rasoul’s tweet showed the realities many teachers face and hope parents understand how many educators are under financial stress.
'It’s infuriating’: Two Roanoke events push for change after Breonna Taylor decision
ROANOKE, Va. – Two separate rallies in Roanoke Sunday afternoon were motivated by the same goal: justice for Breonna Taylor. Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police officers in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13. “It’s modern day lynching: death by police brutality," said Roanoke NAACP chapter president Brenda Hale. The NAACP’s event featured several prominent Roanoke politicians, including Del. No Justice No Peace’s demonstration was more expressive, while the NAACP’s event was more introspective.
Virginia voters to decide future of redistricting with Amendment One vote on fall ballot
ROANOKE, Va. – This Fall, Virginia voters will not only be casting a presidential ballot at the polls but also voting on how leaders draw our political districts. But in the Roanoke Valley, some of our local politicians are crossing the aisle in the hopes you’ll vote yes this fall. Virginia’s political districts are drawn every ten years on the census by the General Assembly, typically favoring the party in power. “And one of the most impactful things that we do as legislators is draw lines and nearly every redistricting that comes through has some amount of litigation," Rasoul said. They would draw the lines and if they fail to get the General Assembly’s approval, the state Supreme Court would decide.
Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority launches Walk and Talk
ROANOKE, Va. Roanokes Redevelopment and Housing Authority is launching its very first Walk and Talk on Tuesday. The idea is to bridge the gap between community leaders like the citys vice mayor, Joe Cobb and Del. Sam Rasoul and people living in city housing as well as the people living in the surrounding communities all while getting some exercise in. When the walking groups meet Tuesday, they will decide as a group a better time and day to meet weekly. Here is a list of walking sites and corresponding contact information.
Roanoke delegate Sam Rasoul considering a run for lieutenant governor
ROANOKE, Va. – It’s possible that Virginia’s next lieutenant governor could be living in Roanoke. Sam Rasoul said he is considering running to be Virginia’s next lieutenant governor. Currently, the Democratic delegate represents Virginia’s 11th district, which covers part of the city of Roanoke. Over the next few weeks, I will decide whether a bid for Lieutenant Governor is the right decision for my family and Virginia.” Del. Hayla Ayala, who represents Virginia’s 51st district, and Paul Goldman, a former chairman of Virginia’s Democratic Party, have announced their candidacy.
Whats News Today: job fair, after school care
ROANOKE, Va. Theres a virtual recruitment drive today and tomorrow. The drive runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow. The Roanoke Higher Education Center will release the results today of an economic impact study. Get help from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. A new partnership with Pittsylvania County enables the YMCA to use the Pittsylvania County Community Center in Chatham.
Theres a lot of pain happening: Passionate debate marks start of Virginia General Assembly special session
RICHMOND, Va. A special session of the Virginia General Assembly got underway in Richmond on Tuesday, with hot button issues up for debate surrounding the budget, the coronavirus pandemic and police reform. The House of Delegates met in the Siegel Center on Virginia Commonwealth Universitys campus, while the Senate met across town in The Science Museum of Virginia. The General Assembly tackled several controversial issues, bringing out dozens of protesters Tuesday morning who wanted to make their voices heard. Kathy Byron (R), representing Virginias 22nd District, which includes parts of Bedford, Campbell and Franklin Counties and the city of Lynchburg. Wendell Walker (R), representing Virginias 23rd District, which includes parts of Amherst and Bedford Counties and the city of Lynchburg.
Del. Sam Rasoul tests positive for coronavirus
Sam Rasoul has tested positive for coronavirus, according to his Facebook page. The lawmaker, who represents the states 11th district, he and his family are recovering. I have tested positive for COVID-19. Please stay safe and take care of each other . Posted by Delegate Sam Rasoul on Monday, July 27, 2020Stay with 10 News as we learn more about this breaking news.
Activists, family call for action in Kionte Spencer case
ROANOKE, Va. – The family of a Roanoke County teenager shot and killed by police in 2016 is calling on the state to act. Dozens gathered at Washington Park in Roanoke Monday afternoon to demand more answers about the death of Kionte Spencer. “Justice for Kionte” wants the county to release all body and dash cam video from that night. Dozens gathered in Washington Park Monday to support those calling on the state for more action in Kionte Spencer's case. “I deserve transparency, that is a very simple demand considering my brother was murdered by the Roanoke County Police.
Volunteers hand out masks to Roanoke public housing residents
ROANOKE, Va. Masks have become an important item in Virginia to stop the spread of COVID-19. Thats why dozens of volunteers made sure people in need had the necessary tools to protect themselves. The group, led by the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps and Delegate Sam Rasoul, handed out safety kits in Roanoke's public housing complexes Friday morning. The kits included masks, as well as hand sanitizer and water. The masks came from a larger shipment of 20,000 masks recently delivered by the Virginia Department of Healths Health Equity Work Group to the city of Roanoke.
Whats News Today: COVID testing, greenway opens
ROANOKE, Va. There's a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in the New River Valley today. The American Heart Association holds a webinar, looking at the impact of COVID-19 on Appalachian and rural communities. The association says people who live in these regions tend to be older and more likely to experience health issues. The Roanoke River Greenway and Mill Mountain Access Road will reopen today. The Kiwanis Club of Roanoke holds a groundbreaking today for a new playground.
Del. Sam Rasoul calling for federal government to replenish state, federal unemployment funds
ROANOKE, Va. – A state delegate is calling on the federal government to take action ahead of the federal and state unemployment funds running out of money. Sam Rasoul, who represents Virginia’s 11th District, which covers part of the city of Roanoke, believes the federal government should put hundreds of billions of dollars into the funds. Otherwise, businesses will see a huge increase in their unemployment tax in order to replenish them. He said the state is paying about $90 million in unemployment claims a week as of Monday because of the coronavirus. On Monday, 10 News also reached out to Congressman Ben Cline for comment but he was unavailable.
Del. Sam Rasoul passes out masks to Roanoke residents
ROANOKE, Va. – Some local elderly residents can now better protect themselves from the coronavirus thanks to a Virginia lawmaker. Sam Rasoul, who’s district includes Roanoke, handed out masks at Melrose Towers in Roanoke on Monday afternoon. He also handed out information about the coronavirus, instructions for making masks out of T-shirts and distributed fresh fruit for residents. So anytime we’ve got a building like this, people congregating together, we’ve got to do everything we can to protect vulnerable populations. Zion AME Church, the Roanoke Health Department and the Virginia Housing Authority.
Delegate Sam Rasoul calls for Gov. Northam to issue stay-at-home order
Ralph Northam has given the same messaging to Virginians, but has not ordered a shelter-in-place law. Rasoul fears the United States is just weeks behind the devastation in Italy and on pace to see more deaths. The only prediction that shows Virginia not outpacing hospital capacity is a three-month shelter in place order. We have a very limited number of hospital beds, relative to the number of sick that we’re going to see," Rasoul said. Rasoul added the research he’s viewed predicts the American death count from the coronavirus will overtake 9/11, 2,977, by the end of next week.
Correction: Virginia-Renewable Energy story
Richard "Rip" Sullivan, D-Arlington, gestures during the House session at the Capitol Thursday, March. 5, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Sullivan is leading the floor debate on the renewable energy bills. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)RICHMOND, Va. – In a story March 5, 2020, about energy legislation, The Associated Press erroneously reported state regulators' estimate of rate increases associated with the newly approved bill. The State Corporation Commission has predicted the bill would result in a monthly minimum increase for the typical residential customer's bill of $27.80 for the years 2027-2030.
"Finally, we're in a position to do things": Roanoke's state lawmakers react to Democratic sweep
State Sen. John Edwards (D), who represents Roanoke, Roanoke County, and Giles County, says the answer is to get to work. Edwards has held his Senate seat since 1995, but he has never been in the position where his party controlled the Senate, House and the governorship. "This was the most important election because finally, we're in a position to do things," Edwards said. "It's a challenging endeavor, but fortunately, we've got some great talent and good people that want to get things done," Rasoul said. Edwards and Rasoul said many things could end up on the new General Assembly's agenda, including gun control, criminal justice reform and transportation funding.
Roanoke Delegate Sam Rasoul looking to become House majority leader
ROANOKE, Va. - Sam Rasoul is looking to take a major leadership role in Virginia's House of Delegates. Rasoul, a Democrat who represents Virginia's 11th District, plans to run for majority leader in the House. The 11th District represents part of the city of Roanoke. Rasoul was first elected to the House in a special election in 2014, defeating Republican Octavia Lyvonne Johnson. The next House of Delegates majority leader will be decided Saturday.
Politicians pack meals for Feeding America Southwest Virginia
SALEM, Va. - Several elected officials rolled up their sleeves to help Feeding America with its mission Friday morning. Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke), Roanoke City Councilwoman Anita Price and Clifton Forge Mayor Jeff Irvine joined Feeding America Southwest Virginia volunteers to sort through the organization's pantry and pack boxes of food. Rasoul and Price said they want to do what they can to end hunger in the commonwealth. "There is nothing worse than a child coming into a classroom and trying to think on an empty stomach," added Price. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) also assisted Feeding America Southwest Virginia during the event.