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Virginia Wrestling struggles on the road in 38-3 loss at NC State

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Virginia Wrestling struggles on the road in 38-3 loss at NC State


After a rough loss in the Commonwealth Clash, the Virginia wrestling team had a week off before their toughest match yet, a Friday road trip down to face NC State. The No. 8 Wolfpack (13-2, 3-0 ACC) boast ranked wrestlers in every class, and it showed in their dominant 38-3 victory over the Cavaliers (7-4, 1-2 ACC).

The dual opened up in the 157-lbs weight class, meaning Virginia would look to sophomore Nick Sanko to start them off with some points. Unfortunately, Sanko lost a tough match 9-1, which ended up giving NC State extra points for a major decision win. Next, sophomore Nick Hamilton held the 13th ranked wrestler in his class, sophomore Derek Fields, to a tight match. In the end, Fields won 11-7, giving the Wolfpack a 7-0 lead. 

Determined to come back, the Cavaliers needed something to turn momentum around and give them a chance to make up the deficit. Right on cue, Virginia graduate Justin McCoy gave them a big win. McCoy won in a tight 3-0 decision, but nonetheless the Cavaliers were now within striking distance, with the score being 7-3. 

Unfortunately, the momentum gained by McCoy was lost almost immediately. Virginia utilized fifth-year Ethan Weatherspoon in the 184-lbs class for the first time in conference play this season, and he could not come up with a win. The deficit expanded even further by the next two matches, both of which were major decision losses for the Cavaliers of 14 and eight points. With the weight classes turning back around to the 125-lbs class, Virginia was down 18-3 with just four matches to go. 

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Now was do-or-die time for the Cavaliers. To win or tie the dual, they would need to win at least three of the last four matches and get bonus points in each. In the one matchup without ranked wrestlers on either side, Virginia was relying on sophomore Kyle Montaperto to get the job done. However, they would not get that crucial win. Montaperto lost by tech fall, which made the deficit 20 points and the match officially out of hand.

There were still three matches to go, and while the Cavaliers wanted to make the match respectable and show their grit, but the wheels fell off. Junior Marlon Yarbrough II, who had sported a solid 11-5 record for the season coming into the day, ended up getting pinned by his opponent after getting caught in a bad position. Sophomore Jack Gioffre lost by major decision to his opponent, fourth ranked 141-lbs wrestler junior Ryan Jack, which made the deficit a whopping thirty points. In the final match of the day, junior Kyren Butler lost by tech fall to third ranked 149-lbs wrestler sophomore Jackson Arrington. The final result read 38-3. 

While the match’s result was not unlike the previous Virginia Tech one, the way Virginia looked between the two matchups was a night-and-day difference. The Cavaliers were losing close in every match in the Commonwealth Clash but almost never came close against NC State. No team can ever expect to win a dual when giving up seven losses with bonus points, and Virginia will have to be better about that if they are to pick up wins in their last two ACC matches. 

“We have to tighten up our technique,” Coach Steve Garland said. “We’re still making really bad mistakes that are blowing matches open and we can’t have that.”

The Cavaliers will look to get back on track in ACC play with a Senior Night match against North Carolina Friday. The dual will be broadcast on ACC Network and will start at 8:30 p.m. 

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West Virginia treasurer warns new banks of ESG-based blacklisting

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West Virginia treasurer warns new banks of ESG-based blacklisting


West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore warned six more financial institutions that they may be placed on the state’s “Restricted Financial Institution List” if they are found to be “boycotting” the fossil fuels industry.

The blacklist is authorized in a 2022 state law authorizing the State Treasury to restrict financial institutions that “have publicly stated they will refuse, terminate or limit doing business with coal, oil or natural gas companies” without a reasonable business purpose.

The treasurer can disqualify a restricted financial institution from the competitive bidding process or from any other official selection process; refuse to enter into a banking contract with a restricted financial institution based on its restricted status; and require an agreement by the financial institution not to engage in boycott of energy companies for the duration of the contract.

“We must remain vigilant to ensure we do not entrust state funds to banks that are engaged in coordinated political efforts to destroy our state’s critical industries,” says West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore.

West Virginia State Treasury

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The Treasurer’s Office has made an initial determination that the six institutions appear to be engaged in boycotts of fossil fuel companies as defined under state law. The determination was based on a review of each institution’s environmental, social and governance policies and other available statements, Moore said in a statement.

The financial institutions, which were not named by Moore, received notices of potential inclusion on the list last Friday.

However, the Washington Times reported that according to notices it obtained through a public records request, the institutions include Citibank, TD Bank, BMO Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Northern Trust and HSBC Holdings.

The institutions now have 30 days to submit a response. Unless the firms show to the treasurer’s office they are not engaged in a boycott of fossil fuel companies they will officially be placed on the list in 45 days.

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One of the firms listed by the Times, HSBC, told the Washington Times it rejected the assertion it is a fossil-fuel “boycotter.”

The restrictions don’t apply to municipal bond issuances by the state because the Treasurer’s Office does not handle bond issuances. They mainly apply to the banking and cash handling functions of the office, which see about $20 billion in inflows and outflows a year. It also does not apply to state pension funds.

Under the 2022 law, the treasurer may exclude banks on the list from eligibility for contracts for state banking services.

It follows a many GOP-run states have copied in a coordinated effort to put state limits on private corporations’ freedom to make investment decisions.

The first West Virginia list was published in July 2022 when Moore determined five financial institutions were engaged in boycotts as defined by state law. The five firms were BlackRock Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. No updates have been made since then.

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Moore says the blacklist protects the traditional extraction industries of West Virginia.

The natural resources industry represents about 3% of West Virginia jobs, according to the West Virginia University’s most recent , in a state where overall employment lags 2005 numbers, and the population between 2010 and 2020.

“While the environmental, social and governance or ESG movement might be politically popular in California or in New York, financial institutions need to understand their practices are hurting people across West Virginia,” Moore said at the time.

Last week, Moore praised JPMorgan Asset Management and State Street Global Advisors for their choice to withdraw from Climate Action 100+, an investor-led initiative that aims to make large corporate greenhouse gas emitters take action on climate change.

“This is a step in the right direction and significant victory in our states’ fight against the international corporate collusion targeting the coal, oil and natural gas industries,” Moore said.

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In January, Moore applauded the New York Stock Exchange’s decision to curtail the decision making freedom of private sector investors by withdrawing its proposal filed to Securities and Exchange Commission that would have allowed the public listing of Natural Asset Companies, climate-focused corporations designed to convert natural assets into financial capital by taking over land owned by private entities and individuals and the federal, state and local government.

Under the NYSE proposal, NACs would have had “the authority to manage the areas for conservation, restoration or sustainable management” and are prohibited from engaging in fossil fuel-related developments.”

In December, Moore blasted President Joe Biden’s ESG policies after his special climate envoy John Kerry pledged at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference that the U.S. would begin a phase-out of all existing coal-based power plants and urged that coal use be eliminated worldwide. Moore urged Congress to use its authority to block the agreements made at the summit.

“West Virginia and our coalition of states have been fighting for years against these efforts to boycott and curtail capital to our critical energy industries and diminish important economic activity and revenue for our states. This is a sign our efforts are making an impact,” Moore said Monday.

Last month, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed the ESG Pension Protection Act — which requires the state pension fund’s decisions be based on maximizing returns — in a ceremony at the governor’s office.

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The bill, H.3690, went into effect on Feb. 9.

It directs that all investment decisions made by the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission be based solely on maximizing the highest rate of return and not on ESG factors.

Anti-ESG bills have made a comeback in Arizona and Oklahoma while Texas continued to cull underwriters from its municipal bond syndicate groups.

Other Republican-run states have followed Texas’ lead and enacted laws that have led to underwriter bans. Last year, the Oklahoma Treasurer’s Office produced a list of fossil fuel boycotters.

In Missouri, a trial over the state’s first-of-their-kind ESG investment rules will go ahead after a federal judge rejected the state’s motion to dismiss.

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Leaders in GOP states have also battled what they like to call “woke culture” in other areas as well. Wokeness, according to court testimony by an official in anti-ESG leader Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, is defined as “the belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them,” and has become a GOP shorthand attack on liberals and liberal policies.

Last year, DeSantis signed a bill that restructured and renamed the Reedy Creek Improvement District the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, which ended the governance of the special district by Walt Disney Co.

The Florida Legislature approved a bill in 2022 to dissolve all independent special districts created before 1968. The bill’s authors and DeSantis made it clear it was intended to punish Disney, which had voiced strong political opposition on behalf of its employees to the state’s Parental Rights in Education Act, which critics called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The law bans public school instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity for children through the third grade.

Last week, DeSantis unveiled a report about the former Reedy Creek district, commissioned in the newly restructured district.

“The district’s recent audit report justified our shared concerns: Disney was acting as a law unto itself,” DeSantis said. “Since our reforms, the new district has taken bold action to increase transparency, community engagement, and fiscal responsibility, and has saved taxpayers $18.4 million.”

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The CFTOD has implemented safety inspections by the Florida Department of Transportation, he said, for the Disney monorail system, saying it had lacked FDOT oversight before.



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How Virginia scrapped its ban on personal use of campaign funds – Virginia Mercury

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How Virginia scrapped its ban on personal use of campaign funds – Virginia Mercury


Onzlee Ware, who died earlier this month, was a former Democratic state legislator from Roanoke and the first Black judge appointed to the city’s Circuit Court.

But he also will be remembered as a footnote in an unexpected chapter of state history in 2009 that effectively eliminated Virginia’s longstanding ban on the personal use of campaign funds, a situation the General Assembly is still struggling to rectify.

The story began when Ware faced a Democratic primary challenge in June 2009. His opponent, Martin Jeffrey, pointed to entries on Ware’s publicly available campaign finance reports that he said suggested Ware had spent campaign funds for his own personal use, in violation of state law.

Ware ignored accusations while cruising to a 2-to-1 primary victory. But Jeffrey’s complaint had found its way to the State Board of Elections, which unexpectedly decided to open an investigation. There was no precedent for such an inquiry. Officials in the board’s campaign finance section previously had said their enforcement powers extended no further than asking candidates to correct mathematical errors or supply missing information such as donor addresses or occupations.

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The day after the primary, David Allen, who had recently been hired to head up the campaign finance section, wrote to Ware demanding the Democratic legislator produce receipts and other documentation related to the spending in question.

In a recent interview, James Alcorn, then the State Board of Elections’ policy director, said the case went forward under the theory that because the agency asks for documentation in other types of enforcement actions, it has the authority to ask candidates for expenditure receipts. “When the complaint did come in against Delegate Ware, we had a responsibility to look into it,” Alcorn told The Roanoke Times in June 2009.

The Ware case alarmed lawmakers of both parties, who worried that the agency could become a pawn in politically motivated complaints.

Ware agreed to amend several of his campaign finance reports to include a more detailed description of some expenses, but he denied spending money for personal use. The Roanoke Times reported that Ware turned to Allen’s predecessor, Chris Piper, to help respond to the request. Piper was working for a Washington, D.C., law firm with a campaign finance compliance practice.

The Board of Elections eventually closed the investigation into Ware’s campaign spending, but in the process called into question the applicability of language in the state code that for decades had banned the personal use of campaign funds.

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The meaning of the language leaves no doubt about the law’s intent: “It shall be unlawful for any person to convert any contributed moneys, securities, or like intangible personal property to his personal use or to the use of a member of the candidate’s ‘immediate family.’”

The agency turned to the state Office of the Attorney General for help. A lawyer there said the language was clear but discovered that its placement in the code had changed during a general reorganization of campaign finance laws approved by the General Assembly in 2006. Originally, the personal use language appeared in its own code section. But the reorganization placed it as a subsection of a law related to “final” campaign finance reports, which candidates submit when closing the account of a candidate’s fundraising committee.

The lawyer’s reading of the law, based on where the language appeared in the code, was that the prohibition against personal use applied only to the weeks or months before a candidate closed his account. In other words, at all other times personal use is not illegal in Virginia.

Based on that interpretation, the Board of Elections closed the Ware investigation without any further action in October 2009. Officials said because Ware’s spending in question had not taken place within the timeframe of a final report, the agency was “barred by law” from looking into the matter.

There has never been a request for a formal attorney general’s opinion confirming that interpretation, but the Board of Elections’ announcement led everyone in the political community to accept that Virginia effectively no longer prohibits personal use of campaign funds.

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In the last 15 years, the General Assembly has been unable to put the genie back into the bottle. Legislation to reinstate a universal ban has foundered over how to define “personal use” without the potential for candidates facing complaints like the one an opponent lodged against Ware.

“I’m happy I went through the process,” Ware told the Roanoke Times in October 2009, “but I cannot sit here and tell you that I believe there was ever a legitimate concern … about my campaign expenditures. All of it was contrived and made up.”

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Obituary for Virginia Jones Mehaffey at South Chapel

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Obituary for Virginia Jones Mehaffey at South Chapel


Mrs. Virginia Jones Mehaffey, age 89, of Rome, GA, passed away on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, at a local hospital. Mrs. Mehaffey was born in Floyd County, GA, on September 2, 1934, daughter of the late Alfred Glenn Jones and the late Fannie Gordon Jones. She was also preceded in



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