Virginia Beach Councilman John Uhrin Claims He Didn’t Beat His Wife After Domestic Violence Arrest – Says He Won’t Resign – Wife “Fell And Scraped Her Knee”

October 9, 2012

VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA – The lawyer for a Beach councilman accused of domestic violence says his client never hit his wife.

Councilman John Uhrin’s lawyer told reporters that Uhrin and his wife deny the whole thing happened.

He says Uhrin will not resign.

Police arrested Uhrin over the weekend after police say he punched his wife outside of their Indian Avenue home.

Uhrin’s lawyer told reporters Uhrin and his wife had a loud argument – and during the course of that argument – Uhrin’s wife fell and scraped her knee.

The councilman is free today. He met with Beach Mayor Will Sessoms about the charges.

Sessoms released this statement:

“As a husband and a father of three daughters, I find any allegation of domestic violence deeply troubling. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Uhrin family, and I have the utmost confidence that the Virginia Beach law enforcement and legal communities will handle this incident expeditiously and without prejudice.”

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New/Continuing Concerns That Pentagon Still Isn’t Following Federal Voting Laws – 92% Drop In Absentee Ballot Requests By Virginia Military Personnel

October 1, 2012

FREDERICKSBURG, VIRGINIA — A 92 percent drop in absentee-ballot requests by military personnel in Virginia is raising concerns that the Pentagon is failing to carry out a federal voting law.

With only 1,746 military voters in Virginia requesting absentee ballots so far this year — out of 126,251 service members in the state —the Military Voter Protection Project says the system has broken down.

And it’s not just in the Old Dominion. MVPP Executive Director Eric Eversole reports significant declines in absentee-ballot requests by service members across the nation.

Compiling data from Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, Colorado and Nevada, Eversole’s organization found that military families have requested 55,510 absentee ballots so far this year. That’s a sharp decline from the 166,252 sought in those states in 2008.

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Chesapeake Virginia Police Arrest Man For Stealing SUV He’d Just Purchased, With No Evidence Of Theft – Priority Chevrolet Tried To Get Out Of legal And Binding Sales Contract By Lying And Saying He’d Stolen The Car

September 28, 2012

CHESAPEAKE, VIRGINIA – The president of Priority Chevrolet apologized Wednesday for the arrest of a customer in June whom the dealership mistakenly undercharged for an SUV and who resisted the company’s efforts to get him to sign a new, costlier contract.

Dennis Ellmer said he’s heard from Chesapeake police that one of his managers told an officer that Danny Sawyer of Chesapeake had stolen a 2012 Chevrolet Traverse.

“I owe Mr. Sawyer a big apology,” said Ellmer, who manages the entire Priority Auto Group – which includes 11 dealerships in Virginia and North Carolina.

He said his staff erred when they sold the SUV to Sawyer for about $5,600 too little and erred again when they went to police. He said Sawyer should not have been arrested and definitely should not have spent four hours in jail.

“It is my plan to let him keep the $5,600 and to make Mr. Sawyer right. I can’t tell you how I plan to fix it, but it is my intention to make it right,” said Ellmer, adding that he would like to sit down and talk with Sawyer.

Rebecca Colaw, Sawyer’s attorney, said she appreciates that Ellmer is taking responsibility for what happened. But she said he will have to do more than say he’s sorry and let Sawyer keep the SUV.

“An apology is not enough,” she said.

Earlier this month, Sawyer, 40, a registered nurse, filed two lawsuits against the dealership accusing it of malicious prosecution, slander, defamation and abuse of process, among other things. The lawsuits seek $2.2 million in damages, plus attorney fees.

Ellmer and his vice president, Stacy Cummings, said they were unaware of the lawsuits until they read about them Tuesday on the front page of The Virginian-Pilot. Two managers at Priority Chevrolet declined Monday to comment on the lawsuits, and two phone calls and an email to an attorney for the dealership were not returned.

According to the lawsuits, Sawyer test-drove a blue Chevrolet Traverse on May 7 but ultimately decided to buy a black one. He traded in his 2008 Saturn Vue, signed a promissory note and left in his new SUV.

The next morning, Sawyer returned and asked to exchange the black Traverse for the blue one.

The lawsuit claims Wib Davenport, a sales manager, agreed to the trade without discussing how much more the blue Traverse would cost. Cummings disputed that, saying Davenport told Sawyer it would cost about $5,500 more than the black one and that Sawyer orally agreed to the higher price.

Regardless, the final contract Sawyer signed did not reflect the higher price, which Cummings said should have been in the area of $39,000. He blamed a clerical error.

“We definitely made a mistake there. There is no doubt about it,” said Ellmer.

After signing the contract – which listed a sale price of about $34,000 – Sawyer immediately left the dealership and returned with a cashier’s check covering what he owed after dealer incentives and his trade-in.

A week later, Sawyer came back from a vacation to find numerous voicemails and a letter from the dealership, the suit said. In a phone conversation, Davenport explained they had made a mistake on the contract and sold the car for too little. He asked Sawyer to return to the dealership and sign a new contract.

The lawsuit claims Sawyer refused. Cummings said Sawyer initially agreed but never followed through.

When Sawyer did not return to the dealership, Priority staff continued their attempts to contact him via phone, text message and hand-delivered letters. They eventually contacted police.

On June 15, three Chesapeake police officers arrested Sawyer in his front yard and took him before a magistrate judge. He was released on bond after about four hours at the Chesapeake jail, the suit said.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Nancy Parr said her office dropped all charges Aug. 23 after speaking with representatives of the dealership and determining there was insufficient evidence to pursue the case.

In an interview Tuesday, Ellmer and Cummings said their staff never reported the SUV stolen and never asked for Sawyer to be arrested. They said they called police only for help locating the SUV while they pursued the civil action.

After speaking with police Wednesday, however, Ellmer said he’d learned one of his managers, Brad Anderson, had indeed said the SUV was stolen.

Kelly O’Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the Chesapeake Police Department, said the officer told Anderson in advance he was going to secure a warrant for Sawyer’s arrest.

Ellmer described what happened to Sawyer as an isolated incident. He noted that his dealerships sell about 13,000 cars a year.

“This shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

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Altavista Virginia Police Officers Gun Down 83 Year Old Woman In Her Own Backyard After She Called 911 To Report Burglary

September 27, 2012

ALTAVISTA, VIRGINIA – A police officer shot and killed an 83-year-old woman in her own backyard.

Delma Towler dialed 911 to report a burglary but when police arrived, one officer killed her outside her home in Altavista, Va.

“It’s not over yet. I’m going to get some justice because our mother did not deserve to die like this … to be gunned down like she was an animal or a criminal,” Towler’s daughter Linda Langford told The News and Advance.

Towler had never fired her gun before that night. She fired a warning shot out the window to scare the burglar off. Then she started walking through her backyard toward her sister’s house. She grasped the gun for protection from the reported intruder — not the police, her family maintains.

WWII VET KILLS HOME INTRUDER, CITES SELF DEFENSE

The police “heard shots fired from within the residence. As the officers took cover, they saw a woman armed with a handgun leave the back of the house,” according to a statement released by the Virginia State Police.

The two responding officers claim that they fired Towler after she refused to put her weapon down. The woman reportedly did not have her glasses on or hearing aid in at the time.

The police statement also alleges that Towler pointed her gun at the officers — a point her son Robert Barbour does not buy.

“Mom ain’t gonna hurt no police officer or nobody else. She was a good Christian woman and she wouldn’t hurt a soul,” Barbour said.

The officer who killed Towler is currently on administrative leave, according to WDBJ7.

“If I have to spend every penny, someone’s going to pay,” said Langford. “They took my mama.”

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Giving Back: Harrisonburg Virginia Mosque Vandalized As Filthy Muslims Protest, Riot, And Kill People Around The World

September 25, 2012

HARRISONBURG, VIRGINIA – A mosque in Virginia has been vandalized amid angry protests in the Muslim world over a film produced in the United States denigrating the Prophet Muhammad.

On Friday, worshippers at the Islamic Center of the Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg arrived at their weekly prayer service to find graffiti on their building.

Rockingham County authorities say recent vandalism at the mosque and a Christian school could be linked to an earlier incident at a high school.

Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson tells The Daily News Record (http://bit.ly/UetXJM ) that investigators initially believed the defacing of the Spotswood High School sign was just a high school prank. Now, they are looking into whether that incident last Wednesday is connected to graffiti found Friday afternoon at the Islamic Center of Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg and Saturday morning at Redeemer Classical School in Keezletown.

Hutcheson says authorities believe the mosque and Christian school incidents are connected. Graffiti in both incidents was the same coloring and had the same content.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for an FBI investigation.

On Saturday, The Washington Post reported that about 30 cars parked on streets surrounding the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church had windows smashed. Police later said the vandalism appeared to be random and scattered over a large area.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate vandalism at a Virginia mosque as a possible hate crime.

Reports indicate that the Islamic Center of the Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg, Va., was vandalized sometime Thursday night with obscene hate graffiti, including racial slurs against African-Americans and vulgar references to Iraqis. The FBI has been contacted about the incident.

SEE: Vandalism on Harrisonburg Mosque
http://tinyurl.com/8jcn49e

“Given the nature of the vandalism and ongoing international events, it is important that a bias motive be investigated in this case,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

Hooper said that CAIR’s Washington state chapter recently held a news conference in Seattle to call for a bias crime investigation of hate graffiti, including the slurs “sand n**gers,” “doon [sic] coons,” scrawled on a rental vehicle used by a group of Seattle-area Muslims on a recent vacation trip to Chelan, Wash.

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US Secret Service Pissing Away Taxpayer Funds Investigating Empty Chairs Hung In Trees In Texas And Virginia

September 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – At least two recent incidents in which empty chairs were hung from trees by rope have critics decrying what they say are racially offensive displays meant to symbolize the “lynching” of President Barack Obama.

In Austin, Texas, a homeowner hung an empty folding chair from a tree branch in front of his house and later attached an American flag to it. He reportedly told a Democratic political blogger who said she had concerns, “You can take it and go straight to hell and take Obama with you.”

In Centreville, Va., an empty chair with a sign reading “Nobama” was strung from a tree in or near a park. “In short, this appears to be a crude metaphor for the lynching of President Obama,” wrote the blogger who posted the photo.

The image of an empty chair has been associated with Obama ever since Clint Eastwood’s headline-grabbing, non-conformist speech at the Republican National Convention three weeks ago in Tampa, Fla. The 82-year-old actor-director talked to an empty chair as if the Democratic president were sitting in it, criticizing and mocking the “invisible Obama” for 12 minutes.

“When somebody doesn’t do the job, you’ve got to let them go,” Eastwood said before making a throat-slashing gesture.

Hollywood star Clint Eastwood speaks at the RNC in Tampa, Fla.

In Austin, Katherine Haenschen, editor of Burnt Orange Report, a Texas liberal-leaning political blog, said someone forwarded her a photo this week of an empty folding chair hanging from a tree in front of a home in the city’s northwest. A few days later the homeowner apparently added a small American flag to the display, according to a picture taken by a neighbor and forwarded to Haenschen on Thursday. [Picture above].

Haenschen said she called the man who she said lives in the home with his wife on Wednesday night to express her concerns about the display. Here’s what she said he told her:

“He replied, and I quote, “I don’t really give a damn whether it disturbs you or not. You can take [your concerns] and go straight to hell and take Obama with you. I don’t give a [expletive]. If you don’t like it, don’t come down my street.”

NBC News tried reaching out to the man for comment, but a telephone message left Thursday morning was not returned.

Haenschen said the display has apparently caused “great consternation” in the neighborhood.

“There are other neighbors up there who are Republicans who find this as offensive as anybody else does,” Haenschen told NBC News.

“Someone always wants to say, ‘you’re making a big deal out of it, it’s just a chair.’ But I don’t see how you can dismiss the racial message of lynching a symbol of the first African-American president. It’s really tough for me to see how folks might, after the Eastwood speech, not view this as a racially charged message and a symbol of a threat to the president’s life.”

Rosemary Edwards, chairwoman of the Travis County Republican Party in Austin, said she was not aware of the display. She said if anything racial is suggested by the display, it would be “deplorable.”

In Virginia, a photo posted on Tuesday on Blue Virginia, a Democratic-leaning political blog, shows an empty chair with a handmade “Nobama” sign strung from a tree by a rope.

Courtesy of Blue Virginia

A chair with an anti-Obama slogan hangs from a tree in Centreville, Va.

The blogger, who goes by the username “lowkell,” said photos of the display were taken with a cellphone by someone who was leaving the KORUS festival, an annual gathering organized by a local Korean-American association, at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville over the weekend.

“Obviously, it’s beyond grotesque (it also boggles my mind that this was allowed to be put up, let alone to stay up, at a festival presumably visited by thousands of people – wtf?),” lowkell wrote.

Lowkell told NBC News the photo was forwarded to him by a source who “wants to remain anonymous.”

The display was on private property neighboring the park, a park official told the Centreville Patch. The park is about eight miles from Centreville High School, where Obama appeared at a campaign rally in July. It was not known who put up the display.

The Secret Service said it was looking into the empty chair incidents. “The Secret Service is aware of this and will conduct appropriate followup,” spokesman Brian Leary told NBC News.

Lynching, the killing of people, usually by hanging or shooting, by mobs who take the law into their own hands, occurred most frequently in the U.S. from the late 1800s through the 1950s. Most of the lynchings took place in the South, and most of the victims were black.

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Department Of Homeland Security Pilot Used US Customs Helicopter In Virginia To Help His Son Invite Girl To Homecoming

September 18, 2012

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection is investigating claims one of its helicopters was used to help a teenager invite his girlfriend to homecoming.

A CBP pilot allegedly used a helicopter — while it was on a routine mission — to hover over his son’s high school in northern Virginia and drop a teddy bear with the invitation last week.

The pilot’s son attends Patriot High School in Prince William County.

“We are aware of reports that a locally-based CBP helicopter was used improperly by local CBP personnel Sept. 12,” CBP spokesman Michael Friel said.

The pilot who had command of the helicopter was reassigned to administrative duties while CBP investigates the alleged incident.

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