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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The police officer killed during a traffic stop in Newport News on Thursday night was a well-liked young officer who just graduated from the police academy seven months ago, Police Chief Steve Drew said at a somber news conference Friday.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Editor's Note: A version of this article originally appeared on the blog of Angry Staff Officer
This morning, the Virginia state capitol in Richmond saw dozens of armed men gathering to demonstrate their support for the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution – the right to bear arms. These men were not merely bearing arms, however; they were fully accoutered in the trappings of what one would call a paramilitary group: helmets, vests, ammunition pouches, camouflage clothing, and other "tactical" necessities, the majority of which are neither tactical nor necessary. Their weapons, too, are bedecked with all sorts of accessories, and are also in the paramilitary lane. Rather than carry rifles or shotguns that one would use for hunting, they instead carry semi-automatic "military grade" weapons, to merely prove that they can.
This is not an uncommon sight in America. Nor has it ever been. Armed groups of angry men have a long and uncomfortable history in the United States. On very rare occasions, these irregulars have done some good against corrupt, power-hungry, and abusive county governments. For the most part, however, they bode no good.
Social Services departments in two Tri-City area localities and two local hospitals will be taking part in a statewide pilot program aimed at preventing suicides among military service members, veterans and their families.
Last week, Gov. Ralph S. Northam announced the launch of the "Virginia Identify, Screen and Pilot" program that will run into September, according to a news release from the governor's office. The goal of the program, according to the release, is to get military- and civilian-related healthcare providers working together to eliminate duplicity and gaps in community programs and services offered to military families.
The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).
Navy identifies sailor shot and killed by security personnel at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek
Navy officials have identified Seaman Juan Gerardo Medina-Reynaga as the sailor shot and killed by security personnel following a high-speed car chase at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Virginia.
Medina-Reynaga, 25, served as an aviation boatswain's mate (fuels) airman aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, a Navy Region Mid-Atlantic news release says. He joined the Navy in 2015 and had previously served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.
The 'overwhelming' stench of a vet's urine sample forced the evacuation of a VA hospital in Virginia
The "overwhelming" odor that prompted a Veterans Administration health center in Virginia to be evacuated Wednesday afternoon turned out to just be a very pungent sample of urine, reports the Daily Press.
It was so strong that a Hampton police HAZMAT team was called, streets were blocked off, and at least two people who came in contact with the urine had to be "assessed" at a nearby hospital, said the newspaper.
Hampton is on the Virginia coast, about 80 miles southeast of Richmond.
The smell began permeating the Hampton VA Medical Center around 2:16 p.m. Wednesday, starting on the first floor and then drifting to upper levels, reported WTKR.com.
VA officials later revealed the smell emanated "from a urine sample that a veteran (had) dropped off," according to 13News.
The station reports the smell was "chemical-like" and 50 people "were affected by it," including the two employees who were hospitalized.
Video of the scene shows multiple fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles filling a nearby road, as media helicopters fly over.
WTKR reports the unidentified veteran's urine sample was taken to a lab in Richmond for further study.
The evacuation was in place from 2:30 p.m. unti 7 p.m. and involved more than 120 patients and staff members, reported WAVY.
John Rogers with the Hampton VA told the station "it's still unclear what may have been mixed with the urine, if anything" to cause the odor.
©2019 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.