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VIRGINIA BRIEFING

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

VIRGINIA

Streamlined Process Helps Many Felons Be Voters Again

Since 2002, almost 6,000 nonviolent felons in Virginia have regained their voting rights. Felons in Virginia are barred from voting for life unless a governor restores their voting rights.

The Sentencing Project said former governor Mark R. Warner (D) restored the voting rights of 3,414 nonviolent felons during his term from 2002 to 2006. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) has restored the voting rights of 2,576 nonviolent felons in the first three years of his term.

Warner streamlined the process for nonviolent felons to regain voting rights. Paperwork was reduced, and the waiting period was reduced from five years to three years.

-- Associated Press

HIGHER EDUCATION

Federal Grant to Provide Help To Low-Income Students

Virginia has won a $1.1 million federal grant to increase college access for students from low-income families.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia will administer the yearlong program funded by the U.S. Department of Education's College Access Challenge Grant Program.

Information and services will be provided to help students and their families plan for their education after graduating from high school.

The agency plans to work with other state agencies, private companies and nonprofit groups to help educate students about college, with a sizable focus on how to obtain financial aid.

-- Associated Press

FAIRFAX COUNTY

Classes at Fort Belvoir School Resume After Rash Incident

Fort Belvoir Elementary School resumed its normal class schedule yesterday after 11 students and two adults broke out in a rash Friday and were sent to the hospital.

After the outbreak, U.S. Army and Fairfax County emergency workers locked down the school and searched classrooms and grounds for hazardous materials. Workers scrubbed the building over the weekend, but no chemical, biological or radiological materials that might have caused the outbreak were found, school and Army officials reported yesterday.

Fort Belvoir students had been outside playing kickball Friday afternoon before they returned to class complaining of itching.

-- Michael Alison Chandler

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