ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) &ndash: With Labor Day come and gone and back-to-work routines replacing plans for the beach, Tuesday&rsquo:s edition of NewsTalk on NewsChannel 8 offered a retrospective of sorts on the state of labor in this nation.
The Summer of Love it wasn&rsquo:t.
In one corner you had AFL-CIO representative Brad Bauman: in the other, National Right to Work Committee representative Greg Mourad.
Predictably, verbal fisticuffs quickly ensued, with host Bruce DePuyt as the referee.
Mourad&rsquo:s basic message: You guys are thugs doing the bidding for unscrupulous union bosses.
Bauman&rsquo:s basic message: You guys are liars doing the bidding for greedy multi-millionaires.
Bauman contended that studies cited by Mourad are bogus because they&rsquo:re funded by the uber-rich and highly conservative Koch brothers, among others.
Asked whether this was true, Mourad pointed to, well, vandalism.
&ldquo:I will not talk about who gives us our money, and I&rsquo:ll tell you why,&rdquo: he said. &ldquo:Because if we were to talk about who gives us our money, bricks would go through windows, tires would get slashed, job sites would get vandalized.
":That&rsquo:s the sort of tactics that are common with the AFL-CIO and many of its subsidiaries.&rdquo:
Mourad then referred to Philadelphia, where workers in the commuter rail industry spent the summer embroiled in a contract dispute.
&ldquo:(That&rsquo:s where) the union brass were actually praising, at union meetings, what they called the &lsquo:night crew&rsquo: of folks who were going around slashing tires, burned a church, did all kinds of things to shut down non-union opposition,&rdquo: he said. &ldquo:This is common.&rdquo:
Any arrests or convictions?
&ldquo:Against the thugs themselves?,&rdquo: he said. &ldquo:Yes.&rdquo:
&ldquo:I&rsquo:m not sure of the details of the Philadelphia case but often the thugs do get prosecuted,&rdquo: Mourad said. &ldquo:What doesn&rsquo:t get prosecuted is the union organizers, the union bosses that send the thugs out.&rdquo:
Bauman begged to differ.
&ldquo:Everything that he said is just patently (a) falsehood. I couldn&rsquo:t in a million years think that this is actually where the interview would go,&rdquo: he said. &ldquo:These are baseless accusations and absolutely crazy.
&ldquo:Throughout the entire history of, not just the AFL-CIO, but organized labor as a whole, organized labor has stood up for the middle class. It helped build the middle class in this country. And to make these allegations, especially when you know that you&rsquo:re not willing to sit here and you&rsquo:re not willing to defend the people who give you money, and you&rsquo:re not willing to defend the people who are going to fund the research that you continuously go forth and cite is misleading to the American people.&rdquo:
And back and forth it went, with dueling labor statistics and on and on.
A caller, Lacey on Line 2, asked Mourad whether teachers and firefighters, traditional union members are condoning violence.
&ldquo:No, not at all,&rdquo: he said. &ldquo:I am, however, saying that often the union officials condone violence as a tactic. And it&rsquo:s usually not the firefighters and the teachers so much as some of the other, maybe the private-sector unions. I can&rsquo:t recall any cases of firefighters or teachers doing (that).&rdquo:
In their closing arguments, both gentlemen touched on the meaning of &ldquo:right to work.&rdquo:
From Nourad: &ldquo:At base level, it simply means the right to work at a job without being required to pay dues to a union as a condition of employment.&rdquo:
From Bauman: &ldquo:It was an absolute brilliant turn of phrase that unfortunately hides a very misleading concept, which is, you know, we&rsquo:re going to make sure that people work for less and are less safe in their workplace at the expense of greater profits for millionaires and billionaires.&rdquo:
NOKESVILLE, Va. (WJLA) – Around 400,000 students in the Northern Virginia area are headed back-to-school Tuesday for the start of the 2014-2015 school year.
For many of the students, they’ll be entering a new school or returning to school with a few changes. In Arlington County, students will now be able to take American Sign Language courses for the first time.
Prince William County added 600 new teachers for the new upcoming school year and two new schools, one of which is the Nokesville School.
The Nokesville School, formerly Nokesville Elementary, is the first public school in the county to offer classes to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The brand-new facility is the first of its kind.
Prince William County is also allowing incoming sixth-grade students to receive the state-required Tdap vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis on Tuesday if they have not yet received the vaccine. The shot will be administered on site at schools in the county for a $55 fee.
Loudoun County Public Schools will kick off the school year with a new superintendent, Dr. Eric Williams, who was the former superintendent of York County Public Schools. In Alexandria, students at T.C. Williams High School will receive new tablets for the school year.
Students at Falls Church’s Bailey’s Elementary School, one of the Fairfax County's most overcrowded schools, will begin attending classes in a hi-rise office building in Seven Corners.
Fairfax County students will also see a hike in the price of breakfast and lunch by 25 cents.
Had former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell simply accepted a plea deal late last year in which he would plead guilty to a single felony count of fraud, all the other charges (in all, its a 14-count indictment) against him and his wife, Maureen, would have been dropped.
In other words, he could have spared his wife from embarrassing scrutiny that, simply put, was a month-long exercise in character assassination.
Nope. His defense team had other plans. ,br> Instead, it opted for a daily spectacle both tawdry and tedious.
Closing arguments in the federal corruption trial were happening Friday in U.S. District Court in Richmond, where a jury of eight men and four women (seven are white, five are African American) will then have to decide whether Bob McDonnell is a crook, whether Maureen McDonnell is a crook, or whether both are crooks.
When he left court Thursday, the former governor appeared calm, cool and confident as he has every day of the trial.
Ive had an incredibly blessed life in the things Ive gotten to do, he told reporters, and Ive got confidence, as I said five weeks ago, in the judicial system and amazing faith in my God and my family, and the ability of a jury to find the truth.
Maureen McDonnell, per usual, ignored questions.
In terms of contextual clarity, the aims of both sides are fairly simple.
The government says the McDonnells conspired to accept more than $177,000 in gifts, loans and favors from Richmond businessman Jonnie R. Williams in exchange for helping him promote a dietary supplement.
Bob McDonnells defense team says Maureen McDonnell is something of a shrew.
Conspiracy? How could there have been a conspiracy, the defense asks, when the governor and his wife were barely on speaking terms in what was portrayed as a decidedly crumbling marriage?
All the ugly and by now well-documented details of Maureen McDonnells alleged erratic behavior inside the Executive Mansion were put out there for all to see. Oh, and by the way, she had a crush on the aforementioned Williams.
Poppycock, say the prosecutors, who by most accounts from seasoned judicial observers did an effective job in attempting to discredit that narrative.
After the closing arguments, U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer will decide whether to let the jury begin deliberations immediately following all-important jury instructions -- or wait until after the Labor Day weekend.
Either way, the trial has been one long, strange trip.
And remember, this all could have been avoided.
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The event will be live. Guests will include Democratic candidate Anthony G. Brown and Republican candidate Larry Hogan.
WTOPs Shawn Anderson and The Washington Posts Jenna Johnson will join DePuyt in the questioning of the candidates.
The campaigns chose NewsTalk for their D.C.-area debate because weve become the go-to place for local politics says NewsTalk Host Bruce DePuyt. We look forward to having a robust, informative discussion with Mr. Brown and Mr. Hogan.
The debate can be viewed on NewsChannel 8 and it will be streamed live at wjla.com.
The program will be rebroadcast on NewsChannel 8 on October 13th at 7 PM and midnight.
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ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) &ndash: Talk about eerie.
The girls from &ldquo:Friends&rdquo: &ndash: Rachel, Monica and Phoebe &ndash: were reunited on Wednesday&rsquo:s night&rsquo:s &ldquo:Jimmy Kimmel Live,&rdquo: and it wasn&rsquo:t what you might think.
Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow didn&rsquo:t do the sit-on-the-couch-beside-the-host&rsquo:s-desk-and-reminisce thing.
Rather, they appeared in character (in wink-wink fashion) on a replica set of the famous apartment kitchen, where the last gathered in 2004. :
Aniston was the featured guest, and she agreed to play out a pseudo-&ldquo:Friends&rdquo: script supposedly written by Kimmel. That&rsquo:s when her other two old buds made (wink-wink) surprise cameos and also read from the script.
By the way, Kimmel wrote himself into the script as Rachel&rsquo:s squeeze, Ross.
ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) &ndash: Arlington Public Schools students return to class next week, and many teachers will spend the first few weeks helping students re-learn material forgotten over the summer. But Abingdon Elementary School has found a different solution&mdash:at least when it comes to reading.
Abingdon Elementary&rsquo:s Read and Roll Book Bus is a library on wheels, as well as the school&rsquo:s solution to curb what&rsquo:s known as the &ldquo:summer slide.&rdquo:
&ldquo:Typically, if students don&rsquo:t read, they will slide about three months,&rdquo: said Principal Joanne Uyeda. &ldquo:We wanted to make sure our students are reading all summer, so we brought the books to them, into the neighborhood.&rdquo:
&ldquo:We need to look at how school continues year round, and learning is continuous and ongoing,&rdquo: said APS Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy.
At each of the five bus stops, the school&rsquo:s principal, reading specialists and teachers greet students and help them pick out books.
Longtime Abingdon Elementary kindergarten teacher Lynn Robinson has been riding the Read and Roll Book Bus since the program started three summers ago.
&ldquo:I think these are kids who would not read if the books didn&rsquo:t come to them,&rdquo: she said.
Many students love the library bus.
&ldquo:It&rsquo:s cool and it&rsquo:s a good way to read,&rdquo: said rising third grader Norma Machado.
&ldquo:It&rsquo:s so much fun,&rdquo: said rising fourth grader Rayane Razanakoto. &ldquo:My house is actually very close to the book bus stop.&rdquo:
&ldquo:I like that it comes around, so I don&rsquo:t have to go to a public library,&rdquo: said rising sixth grader Jose Rodriguez.
Parents also like the book bus.
&ldquo:I think it&rsquo:s very good for the kids, so they can still [read] in the summer,&rdquo: said parent Mary Carmen.
&ldquo:It improves their reading skills,&rdquo: said Natalie Razanakoto.
Reading specialists Susanna Smith and Mary Lou Rube, who first brought the idea of a library on wheels to the school, say the reward of the program is seeing students develop a love of reading.
&ldquo:I think we can&rsquo:t ever not do it. It&rsquo:s expected now, not only from our students, but from the county, the community, and we love doing it,&rdquo: the pair said.
Principal Uyeda says as a result of the Read and Roll Book Bus, 75 percent of students now start class in the fall either at the same reading level or even make gains.
All of the teachers riding the book bus each week during the summer are volunteers.
ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) &ndash: D.C.-area resident Ira Goldman has been in defense mode the past couple of days.
He&rsquo:s defending his knees.
He&rsquo:s defending his Knee Defender.
He&rsquo:s defending his invention.
And all because of what happened on a United Airlines flight last Sunday.
Passenger in front can&rsquo:t get her seat to recline because the passenger seated behind is using his Knee Defender, a $22 contraption that clips onto a tray table and prevents reclining by the person in front.
Woman gets mad. Flight attendants asks man to remove it. He doesn&rsquo:t. Woman throws glass of water in his face. Plane makes an unscheduled landing because of the fracas.
Media madness ensues.
Goldman&rsquo:s initial reaction?
&ldquo:My first reaction was, after 11 years, one idiot bought the product and didn&rsquo:t follow the instructions,&rdquo: he said Wednesday during a phone interview on News Channel 8&rsquo:s NewsTalk. &ldquo:Every Knee Defender ever sold has said (to) listen to the flight crew.
&ldquo:The website says that, the instructions say that, and listen -- that was the problem.&rdquo:
So why&rsquo:d you invent the Knee Defender?
&ldquo:At 6-foot-3, I&rsquo:m certainly taller than average but not exceptionally so (but) when I sit down in a seat. . .in the plane, my knees are already touching the front of the seat in front of me.&rdquo:
&ldquo:So (even) without a knee defender, the person in front of me is not going to be able to recline because my legs are there.&rdquo:
&ldquo:If I use the knee defender, I can see them trying to push back and I can say, &lsquo:Excuse me but my legs are so long there&rsquo:s no room back here,&rsquo: versus that person banging me in the knees and THEN saying, &lsquo:By the way, there&rsquo:s no room back here.&rsquo: &rsquo:&rsquo:
But isn&rsquo:t that unfair to the person seated in front of you?
&ldquo:If you have a baby in a car seat on a plane, which is now legal under the FAA, the baby car seat will stop the seat from reclining. My knees will stop the seat from reclining, so are my knees illegal because they interfere with the reclining?&rdquo:
But aren&rsquo:t you preventing the person in front from, say, taking a better nap?
&ldquo:The concept that you have a right to decline defies physics, because people&rsquo:s legs are back there. It&rsquo:s (a matter) of common courtesy.&rdquo:
And if the airlines crack down completely on the Knee Defender?
&ldquo:I think people have a right to defend themselves from being hit, and if the airlines want to step in, they can get their lawyers prepared to deal with the consequences.&rdquo:
The defense rests.
ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) &ndash: Frank from Manassas had a question.
Actually, it was more like a plea.
Would Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who appeared Wednesday on the WTOP radio show &ldquo:Ask the Governor,&rdquo: push for the legalization of marijuana and &ldquo:help your people?&rdquo:
Frank hung up and listened to the answer.
&ldquo:Well,&rdquo: McAuliffe said to the two hosts, &ldquo:Frank needs to talk to his state senator or delegate,&rdquo: adding that No. 1, such a thing would have to passed by the General Assembly and, No. 2, he sees that being far, far down its list of priorities and that it probably isn&rsquo:t even on the radar.
In other words, ain&rsquo:t gonna happen.
And McAuliffe&rsquo:s personal thoughts on the issue?
&ldquo:Llisten, I&rsquo:ve supported the issue of medical marijuana,&rdquo: he said. &ldquo:. . .It&rsquo:s something I would look at. . .I am willing to talk about any issue.&rdquo:
But what about totally legal weed?
&ldquo:I&rsquo:m not there yet,&rdquo: he said.
But what about potential financial benefits for the state?
After all, your primary campaign theme was all about energizing Virginia&rsquo:s economy.
And Colorado and Washington, the only two states to have legalized pot, have experienced a veritable tax-revenue windfall that&rsquo:s padding the coffers.
&ldquo:I think,&rdquo: McAuliffe said, &ldquo:there&rsquo:s bigger issues than the money that could be generated.&rdquo:
So there you go.
ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - A Northern Virginia teen with cerebral palsy received help from a Washington Redskin Tuesday night—for the second time.
Juwaan Espinal's family is trying to raise money to buy a specialized van, so they can drive him around without having to take him out of his wheelchair.
On Tuesday night, Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon helped them do it.
Fans lined up outside a Paisano's Pizza on Pershing Drive in Arlington to see Garçon. Each fan paid $25 to meet him, with the money going to help the Espinal family.
Juwaan Espinal loves the Redskins, and this wasn't the first time he'd met a star player.
In May, quarterback Robert Griffin III came out to help Juwaan's Centreville High School classmate Morgan Assel ask him to the prom. Juwaan said yes.
Although Juwaan is able to go to things like the prom, school and football games, his family says there are many places he can't go, because the only way they have to transport him is a sedan with a car seat in the back.
"The car seat isn't that good for him … at all," said his sister, Shanelle.
Juwaan's mother, Ibis, says as he has grown, getting him in the car seat has become increasingly difficult, and if she doesn't put him in the right way, he could get hurt. As a result, it's tough to take him places very often.
"Juwaan, in the past few years, hasn't really been able to really go out and go to the grocery store like you and I would be able to," Ibis Espinal said. "We just show him pictures of what he would like in the grocery list and he'll pick. That's sad, isn't it?"
In addition to Tuesday's fundraiser, until Aug. 31 Paisano's says it will donate money to help buy the van if customers mention Juwaan's name.
"We'll guarantee it's going to happen," Garçon said of the van Tuesday night. "It's all about just helping, making somebody else's life a little bit easier. It's better than scoring a touchdown [or] playing football, just seeing someone happy and making them have a better day."
ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - Arlington police were called to local home Monday on a report that a man had beat a woman with the wooden leg of a chair in an apparent domestic argument.
It does not appear the man will be charged with a crime, however, because he is a diplomat.
"The subject has full diplomatic immunity and was not arrested," Arlington police said in a report Tuesday.
Police said the woman was struck several times and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. She was transported to Virginia Hospital Center to be treated.
The incident took place around 9:30 p.m. Monday in the 4000 block of N. 27th Road.
The discussion will touch on the impact of race, civil rights, justice and the role of the media.
Look for #YourVoiceYourFuture on Twitter to join the conversation.
WHAT: Ferguson America Reacts Town Hall WHEN: Tuesday from 7p.m. - 8 p.m. WHERE: Live on NewsChannel 8 and News8.net or watch on the video player below.
National Town Hall Meeting Your browser does not support iframes and is unable to view this video.
WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- A person was found dead in a car submerged in the Potomac River off the George Washington Parkway near the Columbia Island Marina Sunday afternoon.
Rescue crews and divers from the Arlington County Fire Department and the D.C. Fire Department have found one body and searched to see if anyone else was in the car.
"I started taking some photos of it as it was going down," witness John Gaile tells WTOP. "Within about a minute, it went 90 degrees and completely submerged. I did not see anybody come up."
Gaile tells WTOP that some people on a boat jumped into the water, but "couldn't find the car."
GW Parkway incident update: vehicle and sole occupant have been recovered USPP on scene conducting investigation— USPPNEWS (@usparkpolicepio) August 24, 2014
Part of the search for the REPORT of a car in the water off NB GW Parkway #watersearch pic.twitter.com/yJYBHMpifs— Kate Ryan (@KateRyanWTOP) August 24, 2014
With 99 percent of the votes counted, Chafin beat Democrat Mike Hymes 59 percent to 32 percent, according to the Virginia Board of Elections.
Independent Rick Mullins had 9 percent of the vote.
Chafin's victory comes after an expensive and bruising battle, which saw both sides claiming they were victims of unfair attack ads.
"I am especially gratified that the voters were able to see through the baseless negative attacks that became the sole focus of the Democrats' campaign," Chafin said in a statement.
Republicans now control 21 seats in the Senate compared to the Democrats' 19. Republicans have overwhelming control of the state House. Gov. Terry McAuliffe is a Democrat.
Democrats had hoped that Hymes could pull off an upset victory in a heavily red district, which stretches across several counties in the heart of the economically depressed coal country in southwest Virginia. If Hymes had won, Democrats would regain control of the Senate, as Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam would be the tie-breaking vote in a split Senate.
With control of the upper chamber at stake, both parties invested heavily in the race. Hymes raised more than $930,000 in contributions and in-kind support, with the vast majority coming from Democratic party funds. Chafin raised more than $760,000, with heavy backing from the Republican Senate Caucus.
"Our entire caucus has been working toward this day since 2007," Senate Republican Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. said in a statement. "Having a 21st Republican Senator will help us strengthen Virginia's economy and ensure conservative, fiscally responsible management of the commonwealth's budget."
The seat was previously held by conservative Democrat Phil Puckett. His abrupt resignation in June gave control of the Senate to Republicans, who used their new leverage to prevail against McAuliffe in a monthslong showdown over whether the state budget should include Medicaid expansion. A possible job offer to Puckett by the GOP-controlled Virginia tobacco commission at the time of his resignation is the subject of an FBI investigation.
Also Tuesday, Democrats won newly vacant House seats in northern Virginia and the Hampton Roads area. Rip Sullivan Jr. defeated Republican Dave Foster in the 48th House District, which includes Arlington and Fairfax County. And Joe Lindsey beat Republican Marcus Calabrese in the 90th House District, which includes Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Some publishers do not keep the story for very long. Thats OK, just do a Search here to find it.
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Arlington County police say a drunk, naked man crashed into two cars while riding a motorcycle before fleeing into some woods.
The crashes occurred on Friday night in Arlington. Police say 42-year-old Roland Hitchens wasn't wearing any clothes when police found him close to the scene. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. No one else was hurt.
Police announced Tuesday that Hitchens has been charged with felony hit-and-run, indecent exposure, driving under the influence and other offenses. He was ordered held without bond.
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials are preparing for the possibility that same-sex couples will be able to wed in the state Thursday by drafting a revised marriage license form for courthouse clerks to use as soon as they open their doors.
The state's ban on same-sex marriages was struck down by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which decided not to delay its ruling while it is appealed. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, same-sex marriages will be legal beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday.
The revised license forms "would reflect the constitutional right of same-sex couples to legally marry in Virginia by asking for the name and gender of each spouse, whereas before, the form required a bride and groom because that was all the Commonwealth could legally recognize," Michael Kelly, a spokesman for the Virginia Attorney General's Office, said in an email to The Associated Press.
The request for a delay will either be considered by Chief Justice John Roberts or the full court. The court has twice granted delays in related cases.
While they wait on a decision, some clerks in urban areas are already preparing for an influx of marriage license applicants.
In northern Virginia, Arlington's circuit court has prepared an overflow room.
In Richmond, deputy clerks will be brought in to assist that city's marriage-license desk in anticipation of a large crowd.
Earlier this year, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimated that between 5,487 and 7,122 same-sex Virginia couples would get married within three years of a change in law. That's based on 2010 Census figures showing Virginia had 14,243 same-sex couples and past experiences with Massachusetts after gay marriage was legalized there.
To help as many same-sex couples get married as quickly as possible, a network of religious clergy plans on fanning out to courthouses across the state to begin performing wedding ceremonies on the spot.
"I know many couples who have been together, in some cases decades, who are just waiting for this day," said the Rev. Jim Whalen, of New Life Metropolitan Community Church in Norfolk.
"We expect that there's going to be large numbers initially, and I think it'll be very advantageous to have enough people there to do this in a timely fashion instead of people having to wait hours. ... They've waited long enough."
Whalen is the organizer in the Hampton Roads region for People of Faith for Equality, which has commitments from 49 clergy members from various faiths to be stationed at different courthouses around the state. Another 17 clergy members have offered to be on call if they're needed, including the Rev. Linda Olson Peebles of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington.
Peebles said most same-sex couples in her congregation have already gotten married in Maryland or Washington, D.C., where she has also performed wedding ceremonies. She said her 900-member congregation plans to have a celebration Wednesday night if a stay is not issued.
"It's been a long journey," she said. "We're letting everybody know we're going to be ready to join in Virginia moving forward, letting go of its sad history and moving forward."
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