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Virginia organization offering up to $500 prize to help get teens to drive safe

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Virginia organization offering up to $500 prize to help get teens to drive safe


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Virginia teenagers have the chance to win a cash prize of up to $500. All they have to is create a safe driving holiday song or poem.

Youth of Virginia Speak Out says this contest is geared at keeping young drivers safe on the highways and byways.

“To get teens to get creative with their messaging, and, you know, encouraging their friends to buckle up, to slow down, to not drive distracted during the holidays,” Casey Taylor said.

Taylor says jingle entries should be no longer than 30 seconds.

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Submissions are due by December 7.

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Virginia surrogacy bill doesn't go far enough

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Virginia surrogacy bill doesn't go far enough


Virginia is on the verge of legalizing surrogacy brokers. A bill sent to Gov. Glenn Youngkin last week would repeal the state’s ban on accepting compensation for facilitating surrogacy arrangements. The Republican governor has through March 8 to sign the bill into law.

Getting rid of the ban on brokering surrogacy is a good idea. But Virginia should go further and ditch its ban on commercial surrogacy, too.

Obsolete and Paternalistic

Under current law, it’s a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person or business “to accept compensation for recruiting or procuring surrogates or…otherwise arranging or inducing an intended parent and surrogates to enter into surrogacy contracts.” Doing so is punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500. Someone in violation of this law could also be sued by parties to the brokered surrogacy contract.

“This 30-year-old statute is just absolutely obsolete, and it’s not enforced,” family law attorney Colleen Maria Quinn told a House subcommittee in January.

Yet House Bill 110, the measure repealing this provision, has been controversial—perhaps surprisingly so, considering that the old law is not being used and that actual surrogacy for pay would still be banned. In the Virginia House, votes on the measure were nearly evenly split (50–48).

The surrogacy brokerage ban was passed with an eye toward preventing people from being coerced into surrogacy, notes the Virginia Mercury. Some lawmakers have suggested that ending the brokerage ban would mean more coercion. But there are less extreme mechanisms that can ensure everything is on the up and up. As a surrogate, “you’ve got to have your own lawyer, for goodness’ sake,” Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Fairfax) said at the January subcommittee hearing. And this attorney is “obligated to make sure [a surrogate is] acting of [her] own free will.”

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To recap: A woman can say she consents to be a surrogate, show through her actions that she consents to be a surrogate, have a lawyer attest to her consent to be a surrogate…and some people will still worry that she didn’t really consent to be a surrogate.

This is, alas, par for the paternalistic course when it comes to women’s decisions involving their bodies.

A certain sort of person will never be convinced that a woman would willingly become a surrogate, or get an abortion, or engage in sex for pay, and so on. So they deny the agency of women who do, in fact, willingly do these things. And they use this alleged lack of agency to justify roadblocks for women’s “protection.”

In this case, a woman who wants to be a surrogate is not only barred from being paid for her services, she also needs a court-appointed lawyer to speak for her so the state will see her as apable of speaking for herself.

Now Let People Pay Surrogates

There should be no ban on commercial surrogacy. Surrogacy is good for women and good for families (something I elaborated on in a recent op-ed for The Dispatch). It helps families have biological children they may not otherwise be able to have, and it can provide income and purpose to those serving as surrogates.

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There’s been a good deal of research on surrogate mothers that counters conservative and radical feminist fears about the process. Far from being a last resort that only women with no other financial prospects do, surrogacy is often undertaken by women with altruistic as well as financial motives. Surrogates often report that their experiences are positive, harmonious, and meaningful. Decades of research on surrogate experiences has found that many are emotionally and psychologically well-adjusted. Studies also suggest that surrogates seldom regret the experience years later.

Of course, such positive experiences aren’t going to be universal. But we don’t generally ban things just because some fraction of people have negative experiences. In fact, it’s a bad idea to ban things based on the prevalence of positive or negative feelings about them at all. Is isn’t the government’s job to protect adults’ emotional well-being.

In this and so many other matters, the government should get out of the way and let consenting adults contract as they see fit.

Virginia lawmakers are right to repeal the state’s ban on surrogacy brokers. Next they should repeal the laws that forbid direct payment for the service of surrogacy and that allow surrogate compensation only for costs associated with the pregnancy.

They should also do away with laws making the whole process more burdensome for all  parties and giving the government final say over whether surrogacy arrangements are OK. Under current Virginia law, a court must approve all surrogacy contracts and the approval is only good for 12 months. To get approval, intended parents and surrogates must pass a home fitness and parental fitness investigation undertaken by a social service worker or child welfare agent. They also have to undergo “counseling concerning the effects of the surrogacy.” In addition, the surrogate must prove that she has given birth at least once before and the intended parents must prove that they are infertile or unable to bear a child “without unreasonable risk.” And all parties must undergo “physical examinations and psychological evaluation” and turn records of such over to the court. Only if all of these conditions are acceptably met will the state give people permission to go forward with a surrogacy contract.

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Underlying all of this is the idea that women are too dumb or fragile to make decisions about their own bodies and that the state should get to say who’s allowed to form families and under what circumstances. These ideas need to go, as does the idea that economic concerns can render consent invalid.

As Virginia Del. Candi Mundon King (D–Prince William) told her colleagues during the legislative debate, “being economically disadvantaged does not make you any less intelligent. It does not make you any less able to make your own decisions, whether they be financial, health or otherwise. We should be careful not to stigmatize those who are economically disadvantaged or put them into a category that they cannot understand how complicated and deeply personal surrogacy is.”

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Colonial Beach, Virginia | 2018 (ENB/Reason)



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DraftKings Bonus Code in Virginia – Bet $5 Get $200 In bonus bets instantly!

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DraftKings Bonus Code in Virginia – Bet $5 Get $200 In bonus bets instantly!


Virginia DraftKings Promo Code: Click Here

Bet $5 Get $200 In bonus bets instantly!

DraftKings Virginia Bonus Code: How to Redeem the Offer

In sports betting, do you ever encounter a moneyline or spread providing so much value that it feels like an almost certain win? As a sports bettor in Virginia, how do you take advantage of these situations? What steps would you take next?

Put yourself in the most ideal situation by taking advantage of this opportunity and securing this special offer, giving you a chance to attain an overwhelming net positive with your bets. Follow the steps below to register and get the top DraftKings promo code in Virginia: Click Here

  1. Sign up with this DraftKings Virginia promo code while using the DraftKings mobile app or desktop platform. Haven’t downloaded the DraftKings mobile app yet? What are you waiting for?
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  3. Make your first wager and secure our bonus offer.

The DraftKings Virginia bonus code is open to all newcomers using DraftKings for the first time in the state of Virginia. Existing users can take advantage of separate DraftKings promos and bonuses.

How to Bet

If you haven’t played on DraftKings before but have been wanting to give it a try, getting started is easy. First, use your computer, phone, or mobile device to sign up, and ensure you have a method of payment ready to make your first deposit. Then just click our link and let the DraftKings site or app walk you through the sign-up process.

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Wanting to bet on one of today’s games but aren’t sure how to get started? Here’s a quick breakdown. Some of the most common betting types include the moneyline, spread, and over/under. A moneyline bet means that you think one of the teams will win. It’s that simple! If the team you picked does bring home the win, and you bet $10 on odds of -110, you’d get $19 back.

While it can be a bit more complicated, betting against the point spread can provide a bigger payout or better chance to win in certain situations. If a team, for example, is +3, the +3 means that they must win, tie, or lose by no more than the spread amount to “cover.” But if their opponent wins by more than the spread, then they will “cover” the spread, making them the winning side of the wager.

An easier way to bet is to wager on a game’s over/under (or point total). All you have to do is pick whether you think the combined score of both teams will be higher or lower than the set “total” at the end of the contest. It’s that simple.

Games in Virginia Today

Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks vs. Norfolk State Spartans

  • League: NCAAMBB
  • Game Time: 7:30 PM ET
  • Location: Norfolk, Virginia
  • TV Channel: Watch on ESPN+
  • Spread Favorite: Norfolk State (-12.5)
  • Total: 135.5

Sportsbook Promo FAQ

What are Bonus Bets?

Nearly all legitimate sportsbooks in the U.S. provide promotional bet offers for new and current players, offering credits or funds (similar to real cash) that can be used for betting. Promotional links and bonus codes from sportsbooks and affiliated companies unlock these bonuses for new customers upon their initial deposit or wager. Conversely, regular players may receive bonus bets through rewards for frequent play or as incentives from in-app challenges.

Do Bonus Bets Expire?

Bonus bets and similar offers can have expiration dates. The specific terms and conditions for these promotions vary by sportsbook and offer, so it is prudent to use these offers quickly after obtaining them, unless the terms clearly indicate a no-expiration bonus. When it comes to offers for new deposits, it is advisable to make your deposit and trigger the offer when you can place several bets to maximize the benefit of the bonus.

Do Bonus Bets Pay Cash?

Although bonus bets can’t be directly cashed out, the majority of authorized sportsbooks permit the withdrawal of earnings from bonus bets just like actual money. Take note that certain deals and sportsbooks might impose withdrawal limits or distribute the winnings incrementally – always verify the specifics of the offer. By and large, a substantial victory from a bonus bet typically means real cash for you!

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Are Bonus Bets Free?

Not exactly. In almost all cases, a bonus bet requires a deposit or other betting action on a sportsbook. There are times when sportsbooks offer free funds to bettors, but this is the exception and not the rule. However, usually new users can deposit as little as five dollars to receive big bonuses, so if you’re looking to get started, it is possible to get quite a few free bets off of a single small deposit or real money wager.

Which Sportsbooks Can I Trust?

In the United States, since the Supreme Court overruled a previous ban on sports betting in 2018, many states have voted to legalize wagering in their state with online sportsbooks. States offer strict guidelines and regulations for sportsbooks to do business in their area, so check to see that your preferred app or website is registered and recognized by your state’s regulators. If it is, you can trust that the sportsbook is held to a high standard and is operating legally within both the country, state and city you are in. Some of the most popular sportsbooks, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, have been in operation as either a fantasy or gambling site for many years, while those associated with casinos, such as BetMGM and Caesars, have an even longer history and background in sports wagering.

Do I Need to Make a Deposit to Get My Promo?

In most cases, you do need to make a cash deposit to get your first-time user promo offer with a sportsbook. Commonly, the company will ask that you register and deposit, and some will require you to place a bet, and then distribute your bonus credits or wagers upon successful completion of those steps.

What is a No Deposit Bonus?

Occasionally, sportsbooks present both newcomers and current bettors with opportunities to obtain free bets or bonus money even before they are required to deposit or place a bet. Although rare, and often linked to rewards promotions for current members, you should keep a look out for any special promotions designed that might provide the chance to gamble without an initial deposit into your account.

Is There a Bonus Code for Existing Users?

Regular users of sportsbooks aren’t left out when it comes to promotional deals and bonus opportunities! Although these offers typically aren’t available through a promo code or a specific URL like those for newcomers, loyal patrons can receive promotions directly through emails, in-app alerts, or messages. If you’re an established member of a sportsbook, keep an eye out for any ongoing promotions that might provide you with a free bet, a bonus on your deposit, or another reward.

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Where is Sports Gambling Legal?

Wondering what promo codes are available in other states? Check out the links below:

Not all offers available in all states. Please gamble responsibly! Contact 1-800-GAMBLER if you or someone you know has developed a gambling problem or addiction.



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Trump leans in on immigration, crime during campaign stop in Richmond • Virginia Mercury

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Trump leans in on immigration, crime during campaign stop in Richmond • Virginia Mercury


Former President Donald Trump made a campaign stop in Richmond Saturday ahead of Super Tuesday, a day of primary voting that is expected to seal his bid to be the Republican nominee for president in November.

“With your help, we will win big on Super Tuesday,” Trump told the crowd of a few thousand at the Richmond Convention Center. “This November, Virginia is going to tell crooked Joe Biden, you’re fired, you’re fired, get out of here, get out of the White House.”

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Richmond (Charlie Paullin/Virginia Mercury)

A recent national poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College found Trump has a 5 point lead over Biden. But those results may not be mirrored in Virginia: In their last matchup in 2020, Biden beat Trump in Virginia by 10 percentage points. The results of a separate poll from the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College released Friday found Biden had a 4 percentage point lead over Trump among Virginians. That poll also found that if Trump challenger Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor, were the Republican nominee, she would beat Biden in Virginia by a solid 9 points.

Calling himself a “political dissident” Saturday evening, Trump’s speech in Richmond largely focused on immigration and crime. He specifically cited the recent death of Laken Riley, a 22-year-old University of Georgia nursing student whom authorities say was beaten to death by a Venezuelan migrant, and the shooting death of a 2-year-old in Montgomery County, Maryland. Law enforcement has arrested five suspects in the latter case, one of whom is a Salvador national who was slated for deportation last year but was later released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.   

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“We now have a new category of crime, you know what it’s called? It’s called migrant crime. And this category is turning out to be worse than any crime we’ve ever had in our country,” Trump said. “I was going to call it Biden migrant crime. But if you do that it’s too long. It doesn’t work.”

Trump pledged that if elected, he would “terminate every open border policy of the Biden administration” on his first day in office. 

“We will begin the largest domestic deportation operation in American history,” he said. “We have no choice. This is not sustainable by any country.”

Immigration, he warned the audience, was also affecting schools: “In New York, they have pupils from foreign countries, from countries where they don’t even know what the language is. We have nobody that even teaches it,” Trump said. “These are languages that nobody ever heard of. They’re sitting in the school chairs of people, of kids, that were there, and those kids aren’t able to go to school any longer. There’s no place they can go. They’re taking the school, and they don’t speak a word of English.”

Richmond resident Joe Wilson, 27, who said he attended the rally not to support Trump but to witness the movement behind him, said “it’s kind of fascinating the amount of pandemonium he can cause. I just can’t wrap my head around it.” 

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Attendees at a rally for former President Donald Trump in Richmond (Charli Paullin/Virginia Mercury)

During his speech, Trump touted himself as “the first president in decades who started no new wars” and claimed that had he been in office in October, Hamas wouldn’t have “thought” of attacking Israel. Dealing with adversaries like China, Russia and North Korea, he said, was easier than “dealing with radical-left lunatics in the United States.”

Trump’s stance on the U.S.’ global position resonated with attendee Brad Slaybaugh, 58, of Colonial Heights.

“Where do you want me to start — you want to talk about China, you want to talk about Russia, you want to talk about Israel, you want to talk about Ukraine, you want to talk about the border, you talk about the economy, talk about fossil fuels?” Slaybaugh said in response to a question about what appealed to him about Trump. “Our status in the world’s fallen. The world is chaos, because we’re not strong and they know it.” 

Trump also struck many familiar themes on domestic issues Saturday: He urged oil producers to “drill, baby, drill” in order to secure U.S. energy independence, touted tax and regulatory cuts passed during his term and decried recent nationwide inflation.

Chesterfield residents Thomas and Debra Tubbs, 64 and 65, said cost of living was one of their reasons for supporting Trump.

“A lot of medicine because of him came down in price, especially senior citizens in particular,” said Debra Tubbs. “We go to the store and spend $250, we come out of there with nearly nothing. It’s really affecting everything.”

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A sign held during a rally in Richmond. (Charlie Paullin/Virginia Mercury)

Trump made no mention of Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who was long rumored to be toying with a presidential bid of his own. Youngkin’s rise to power in the increasingly blue-leaning Virginia — a feat he accomplished by keeping a careful distance from Trump but avoiding any overt criticism of the former president that could alienate supporters — was seen by many as offering a new playbook for Republicans in less deep-red states. 

Youngkin, whom Trump took a swipe at in a bizarre social media post in November 2022, did not attend the rally. He told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he had a previously scheduled family commitment. Youngkin’s name was also not included on a list of 40 Republican leaders endorsing Trump that his campaign released Friday. Nor were Republicans Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears, who has called Trump a “liability to the mission,” Attorney General Jason Miyares or Congresswoman Jen Kiggans.

In addition to Del. Wren Williams, R-Patrick, who addressed the crowd before Trump took the stage, in attendance for the event were U.S. Rep. Bob Good (R-Campbell), and state Sen. John McGuire (R-Goochland). Good and McGuire are locked in a heated battle to represent Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. 

The Tubbs said they thought former Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley would be a good pick for Trump’s vice president as a way to win over female voters. Haley stopped in western Henrico Thursday for a rally of her own ahead of Super Tuesday. 

“She’s got a lot of good ideas,” said Debra Tubbs. Thomas Tubbs quickly added, “He’s got the balls to carry it out.”

Earlier in the day, Democrats held a counter rally in Richmond featuring U.S. Rep. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), who focused on the threat Trump could pose to reproductive rights if elected to a second term. Most recently, Trump has floated the idea of a 15- or 16-week ban on the procedure.

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“Even though Virginians stopped MAGA Republicans’ attempts to pass an extreme abortion ban here in Virginia by voting at the ballot box this past November, the stakes could not be higher for reproductive freedom this November,” McClellan said.

A man holds up a sign stating former President Trump is a dictator. (Charlie Paullin/Virginia Mercury)

While other Trump rallies have drawn sharp counter protests, Saturday’s event sparked little organized activity from opponents. A truck playing a video in support of Haley’s bid drove around the rally site before it began, and a few people held up signs, one of which called Trump a dictator.

“Your Fellow AMERICANS are NOT the Enemy,” read the other.





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