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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

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden raises admission $1

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s admission has increased by $1 across all categories. Admission is now $12 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 55 and older; and $8 for children ages 3–12. Admission remains free for children ages 3 and younger and for members.

The last price increase was in 2011, before the Garden consistently hosted Butterflies LIVE! (which is included with admission). > Read more.

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Is there an Echo in here?

‘Earth to Echo’ aims to become this generation’s ‘ET’
It’s no secret that all found-footage genre movies are the same. Grab a couple of characters, give one of them a camera, and expose them to something supernatural that’s content to lurk just off-screen until the last five minutes. Everything else will just fall into place.

But that formula isn’t particularly family friendly, if only because that thing waiting a few feet to the left of the cast is usually plotting their violent doom.

That’s what sets Earth to Echo apart from the pack. It, too, follows a group of characters armed with a camera and a tendency to encounter unknown life forms. But all those familiar parts have been rearranged just enough to make it suitable for a much younger audience. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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