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Panel kills bill to allow Sunday hunting

A House subcommittee has defeated a Senate-approved bill that would have permitted hunting on Sundays in Virginia.

A subcommittee of the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee recommended Wednesday that Senate Bill 464 be tabled.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Northam, D-Norfolk, would have allowed hunting on Sundays on private property by the landowners, their immediate family or people who have written permission from the landowners.

At Wednesday’s meeting of the Natural Resources Subcommittee, Northam proposed an amendment to limit Sunday hunting to state or federal military bases and wildlife management areas.

Terrie Suit, Virginia’s secretary of veterans affairs and homeland security, was among the proponents of SB 464. She spoke in favor of the bill.

“Military installation representatives expressed informally that this would be beneficial to the military bases,” Suit said. “There is already shooting occurring on Sundays at these installations. This would just allow them to shoot at something that could perhaps benefit the dinner table.”

A hunter from Amelia County also supported the bill. He said he has two children who are at an age when they should learn to hunt. However, because of work and school schedules, the man said, it is difficult for him to be available to hunt on Saturdays.

Delegate Manoli Loupassi, R-Richmond, also spoke in favor of the measure.

“Hunting provides an opportunity for children to get outside and see that which they don’t normally see,” Loupassi said.

Opponents of SB 464 gathered at the subcommittee hearing to speak out against the legislation.

“Sunday hunting has been promoted as a property rights issue, a hunting issue and a gun rights issue,” said Will Shaw, a Louisa County resident and member of the National Rifle Association. “I submit that it’s really ‘a one-day-a-week peace and quiet’ issue.”

Shaw said Sunday should be a day for the community to share the outdoors and for residents to feel safe outside on their properties. Current state law prohibits hunting on Sunday on public or private land, declaring it a “rest day for all species of wild bird and wild animal life, except raccoons, which may be hunted until 2:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings.”

In January, the Senate passed SB 464 on a 29-11 vote and sent it to the House for consideration.

Before the subcommittee voted, Northam addressed the panel.

“The tradition of hunting and hunters is going away,” he said. “It’s a tradition that I feel strongly about – that we as hunters and as outdoorsmen all need to work together to protect and promote.”

Delegate R. Lee Ware, R-Powhatan, chairs the subcommittee. First, he called for a vote on the amendment to limit Sunday hunting to military bases and wildlife management areas.

That vote failed, 4-3.

Then Ware called a vote on the overall bill. It also failed, 4-3.


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

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Reptiles Alive!, an exciting and educational introduction to all kinds of reptiles from all kinds of places, will take place at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Henrico Theatre, 305… Full text

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