ALL’S WELL THAT FALLS WELL? LIBERTY U. SUES JERRY FOR $10M
The divorce is getting really ugly. Liberty University has filed a civil lawsuit against its former president, Jerry Falwell Jr, seeking millions in damages after the explosive split last year. The evangelical Christian university claims that Falwell breached his contract and fiduciary duty to the school as he attempted to cover up a personal sex scandal. Falwell was first suspended last August after he posted a social media picture of himself holding a drink and standing with an unrelated pregnant woman. It went on from there, involving his wife and a “pool boy.”
Liberty says that Falwell failed to disclose to the university the alleged threats of extortion he had received in connection to his personal scandals, saying, “Falwell … knew that matters of infidelity, immodesty, and acceptance of a loose lifestyle would stand in stark contrast to the conduct expected of leaders at Liberty.” The university added in the suit that the institution demands adherence to “Biblical standards of morality.”
In response, Falwell maintains, “The Executive Committee of the Liberty University Board of Trustees has made yet another attempt to defame me and discredit my record following a series of harsh and unnecessary actions against my children, Becki and me.” “Throughout all my years at the University, where we built a multi-billion-dollar enterprise that reaches Christians worldwide, I always abided by the requirements that applied to everyone on the university staff.”
Be not the one to throw the first stone…. Perhaps they deserve each other.
VIRGINIA BEACH POLICE CHIEF: OFFICER SHORTAGE–OCEANFRONT VIOLENCE THE RESULT
The president of the Virginia Beach Police Benevolent Association said if the city doesn’t hire more police officers, it can expect more of the same crime and violence that has become too frequent at the resort strip. There were multiple shootings at the Oceanfront last month, one of which was officer-involved. The shootings left nine injured and two dead. The chief of police agrees that many more officers are needed, saying “the number is closer to 150 to 200 [not 100].” He said that “it took 103 officers to manage the chaos at the oceanfront in late March.”
In the short term, the chief said that he is diverting and increase personnel that are going to be assigned to the Oceanfront, and will supplement that with the sheriff’s department. Both the chief and the union president agree that the Oceanfront could use its own precinct. Both officials are looking to the City Council to fund more police positions, saying that retention bonuses, hiring bonuses, and raises–serious raises–are needed.
The department has 761 officers today, with 813 authorized positions.
SALMON, TROUT: AQUACULTURE A BIG CATCH IN SW VA
A Russell County native and a Singapore-based asset management firm are about to turn a corner of Virginia’s coalfields into an aquaculture center. Riverbound Trout Farms is building a processing plant in Russell and expects to begin shipping fish this fall. About a quarter mile away, Pure Salmon plans to send the first fish out of its plant in 2023.
“That location is kind of becoming a hub for aquaculture,” said the executive director of the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority. “We feel like that’s got a lot of growth potential for the region.” Riverbound wants other local entrepreneurs to develop the trout-producing equivalent of feed lots, supplying most of the 750,000 pounds of processed fish that Riverbound aims to produce per year. “It’s going to help a lot of people, hopefully, to get into the business,” says the operator of Riverbound. “The big push is to get more farmers involved and create a green agricultural industry in Southwest Virginia.”
Riverbound ultimately aims to employ 20 people, and received a $500,000 low-interest loan from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority. Pure Salmon landed a much larger incentive package — $14.5 million, mostly in loans. It plans to employ 10 times as many people and invest $228 million.
During construction, the project will employ more than 400 people. After that, Pure Salmon plans to process 20,000 tons of fish per year, employing 203 people at an average annual wage of $59,500 — more than double Buchanan County’s median household income. “That,” county officials say, “is a very good average wage for our region.”
This is no fish story!
VA GOP TO ORTHODOX JEWS: CONVENTION OR SABBATH
In an utterly unsurprising move by Virginia Republicans, a request by several Orthodox Jewish rabbis to allow Orthodox Jewish Republicans to participate in convention business on days other than Saturday, May 8, has been denied. That is the day when the party will choose its nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.
A motion to allow a Sabbath exception required a 75% vote among members of the State Central Committee; the motion received 57.5% of the vote.
An observant Jew and member of the GOP in Norfolk said he and more than a dozen members of his synagogue will be unable to participate in the convention. “They may say that they want to grow the base of the party,” he told Virginia Public Media, “but then they do things like this that essentially goes the other way. What can I say? They’re not anti-Semitic, they’re just anti-realist.” Former Virginia Republican congressman Denver Riggleman blasted the state party’s failure to grant an exemption, blaming “escalating stupidity.”
Meanwhile, one Black committee member was adamant about allowing the exemption. “Let my brothers and sisters in the Jewish community vote,” he said. “Let them vote! We talk about voter integrity and we’re trying to suppress the vote. This is exactly what this is.”
Indeed it is. Believe your eyes. Why expect anything different?