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November 2, 2016     The Westmoreland Journal
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November 2, 2016
 

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2 Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016 THE JOURNAL www.joumalpress.com say were Drawing dis- trict boundar- ies is not for the light of heart. Forget all that stuff they taught you in govern- ment class. In Virginia, where we make no at- DAVID S. KERR tempt at the bi- partisan draw- ing of districts, it's a bare-knuckle political process. It's not pretty, it's not fair, and while it protects the party in power, it does little for the voters. What's more, while it sounds out of bounds legally, the fact is gerrymandering as it's called, is perfectly legal. The drawing of districts for the purpose of a desired outcome isn't against the law, The practice has given the GOP in the Virginia House of Delegates a lopsided super majority in tile However, there has been someAfrican-American voters by putting House of Delegates. Vladimir Putin nibbling around the edges. One of them in as few a number of districts would be proud. It's drastically lim- the problems is that when you do as possible. That way, their influence ited competition. That's the worst all the machinations necessary for in other potentially marginal dis- part of gerrymandering. On Elec- gerrymandering you sometimes risk tricts would be limited. tion Day there are very few com- running afOul of what's called "strict It's one of those situations where petitiveseats. In the upcoming 2017 scrutiny" Namely, that you group the court has to determine the in- election a good guess is that a few as people, primarily African-Ameri- tent of the boundary drawers based 7 to 10 seats in the lower chamber cans, based on their race as opposed on how the voters were actually al- will be competitive, and as many as to the way they vote. The latter is located. In reviewing the case, the half will have no competition at all perfectly legal while the former is court will look at the percentage of on election day. The rest will have not. It's a fine line, but the courts minority voters, will try to ascertain only token opposition, don't like it when state legislatures whether that population is in a rea- Opponents of the status quo don't (the folks who draw state and con- sonably compact area and whether have many options. The only way to gressional districts) get too close to or not it's within local political or reform the process is for the party in or cross it. geographical barriers. Talk about power to decide they want to change That's the question that's being broad guidance. the way the Commonwealth draws considered by the U.S. Supreme However, in a recent decision con- districts. Options, such as a bipar- Court in the case of Bethune v. Vir- cerning the 3rd Congressional Dis- tisan commission to draw districts, ginia State Board of Elections. The trier, the high court handed down represent one alternative, but it's plaintiff in this case argues that race an 8-0 opinion saying the district hard to see a group as partisan as was the primary guide for creating map was drawn based on race. The the House GOP giving away their a number of House of Delegates end result was that the state ended majority. It's going to take a strong districts. They're saying it was an up using a map drawn by the Court citizen movement to change things, attempt to reduce the impact of of Appeals. They had ordered the state to submit a new district map, ing the districts. Still, the Supreme but when the Commonwealth didn't Court didn't have to take the case if oblige, the Court commissioned its it didn't want to. So, that is at least own. The new 3rd District has few- some indication that they want to er African-Americans than it did, look at the issues and perhaps may while other previously Republican- consider overturning the ruling. friendly districts have more. The 3rd If that happens at least 12 districts isn't likely to change hands, it will out ofthe House's 100 will have to be remain Democratic, hut one previ- redrawn. It's not clear, at this point, ously Republican district is far more who will do the redrawing. Perhaps competitive than it used to be. the General Assembly, or maybe, But, the outcome is by no means once again the courts. clear ~,~en it comes to the case now Either way, they can expect a lot before the Supreme Court concern- of extra attention to their efforts. It's ing district drawing for the House of still not the way districts should be Delegates itself. In this case, unlike drawn. But, at least if there are new the 3rd District suit, the Appeals maps it's possible they may produce Court ruled in favor of the state, at least a few more competitive dis- Saying, in other words, that race tricts. And that's a step in the right wasn't the guiding factor in draw- direction. KING GEORGE SHERIFF'S OFFICERS SUCCESSFULLY END BARRICADE SITUATION Deputies from the King George Sheriff's Office successfully ne- gotiated an end to a threatening barricade situation early Saturday. Evan Williams, 22, of King George surrendered after a four hour stand off. Sheriff's Sgt. Kecia Wharton said Williams estranged wife called 911 shortly after midnight and report- ed Williams he called her and said he was going to commit suicide. Sheriff's officers, including a crisis negotiation team, located Williams at the Woodside apartments. Williams told officers that he was upset over his recent separa- tion from his wife. He said he had a 357 Magnum pistol and that he was going to shoot himself, ac- cording to Wharton. Sheriff's officers negotiat- ed with Williams for over four hours. Eventually, Williams threw down his gun and came out of the building to surrender to officers. Wharton said he was transported to Mary Washington Hospital for a mental 'evaluation. KING GEORGE MAN HELD AFTER BREAKING INTO WOMAN'S HOME A King George man is being held in the Rappahan- nock Regional Jail this week charged with breaking into a home of a woman and Sc her small chil- dren in the Dahlgren area. George Joseph Schlereth, 36, was arrested outside the home by King George sheriff's officers. King George Sheriff's Sgt. Kecia Wharton said officers respond- ed after the woman in the home called 911 last week saying a man was banging on her door at mid- night. The woman did not open the door and was advised by 911 of- ficers to lock herself and her chil- dren in a second floor room of the house, The man entered the house through a rear door, but then fled after he apparently heard officers arriving. He was arrested as he was at- tempting to leave the house in a dark colored SUV, according to Wharton. An investigation into the inci- dent is continuing, but Schlereth has been charged with possession PhOto courtesy of King George County Sheriff's Office Fancy funds Fancy's FriendsTherapy Dogs last week presented a donation of $500 to be used toward the equipment needs of the sheriff's K-9 unit. Sue Coleman, center, and Janice Hill presented the check to King George Sheriff Steve Dempsey, left. Fancy's FriendsTherapy Dogs help the local community by visiting the elderly, hospitals, and schools for educational programs. or burglary tools and breaking and George. Joseph Schlereth, 36, COLONIAL BEACH POLICE entering, of King George was charged with DEPARTMENT REPORTS He is being held in the Rap- possession of burglary tools, bur- pahannock Regional Jail without glary and breaking and entering Oct. 22 bond. property to damage. Steven Lee Dunn, 27 years of age Joshua Shawn Struniak, 26 ofof Colonial Beach, was charged KING GEORGE COUND" Stafford was charged with con- with two counts of assault and bat- SHERIFF'S OFFICE ARRESTS tempt of court, tery. Oct. 21 Oct. 26 Gary Jerome Cole, Jr., 26, of Delande Daniel Smith, 44, King George was charged with as- of Fort Washington, Md., was sault and battery, charged with shoplifting. Kristen Marie Tewell, 31, of Natasia Bertise Johnson, 35, of LaPlata, Md., was charged with King George was charged with 11 shoplifting, counts of larceny by bad check. Oct. 22 Oct. 27 Burnett Lee Williams, 48, of Eric Shane Brandenburg, 37, of King George was charged with Baltimore was charged with pos- forcible sodomy and aggravated session of drug paraphernalia and sexual battery, providing false identification to law enforcement. Oct. 24 James Edward Allen, 35, of King Michelle Andrea Clarke-White, George was charged with assault 50, of Mount Rainier, Md., was and battery. charged with driving while intoxi- Torey Nichole Littleton, 22, of cate& King George was charged with fail- ure to appear. Oct. 25 Oct. 24 Officers responded to a resi- dence on Bryant Avenue for a do- mestic Altercation. At the conclu- sion of the investigation, all parties were counseled. Officers responded to Lossing Avenue for a reported male subject walking in the middle of the street carrying a rifle. Subsequent inves- tigation revealed a juvenile male subject was in possession of a pel- let rifle. All parties involved were counseled. Oct. 25 Officers responded to a location on McKinney Boulevard reference a burglar alarm. Investigation by the officers revealed that a false alarm had occurred. The J 0 urna 10250Kings Highway Post Office Box 409, King George, VA 22485 Phone: (540) 775-2024 Fax: (540) 775-4099 Online: www.journalpress.com EDITOR AND PUBLISHER SALES REPRESENTATIVES Joel Davis * joel@joumalpress.com Charlene Franks charlene@joumalpress.com Legal/Classified Display legals@joumalpress.com WEB EDITOR ERICA TERRINI SUBSCRIPTIONS Bonnie Gouvisis * bonnie@joumalpress.com REPORTERS Phyllis Cook * pcook@crosslink.net Richard Leggitt * richardleggitt 15@gmail.com COMMUNITY & CHURCH NEWS Loft Deem lori@joumalpress.com PRODUCTION/MI$/GRAPHICS Drue Murray * drue@joumalpress.com Subscription rate is $24 per year (52 issues), or 50 on newsstands. Outside the counties of King George and Westmoreland, the rate is $38 per year. THE JOURNAL (ISSN #87502275) is published weekly by The Journal Press, Inc. Postmaster, send 3579 to: The Journal, Post Office Box 409, King George, Virginia 22485 Oct. 26 Officers responded to a resi- dence on First Street to investigate a burglary. This case is still under investigation. Oct. 27 Davon Montrell Johnson, 29 years of age of Colonial Beach, was arrested for assault and battery of a family member. Oct. 28 Officers responded to a resi- dence on Twelfth Street for a re- ported fraud. The investigation is pending at this time. Richard Leggitt 9 6 4 1 9 7 6 1 2 8 3 8 3 4 7 3 8 7 4 1 Level: Intermediate CLUES ACROSS 1. Famed Spanish General's nickname 5. Drink alcohol 11. Savings for soggy days 14. Kleenex, Puffs are some 15. Moved in a circular way l 8. Pile of stones 19. Drenched 21. Talk to you (abbr.) 23. World's longest river 24. Thoughts 28. Stake 29. Lawrence Taylor's nickname 30. Coat or smear 32. Comedian Josh 33. Cost, insurance, freight (abbr.) 35. Royal Bank of Canada 36. Polyvinyl chloride 39. Lifeless 41. Doctor of Medicine 42. 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