In brief: Tim Kaine drops by, Dish drops Newsplex and more

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine visits with UVA School of Medicine Dean David Wilkes during a recent trip to Charlottesville. Eric Swensen Virginia Senator Tim Kaine visits with UVA School of Medicine Dean David Wilkes during a recent trip to Charlottesville. Eric Swensen

Kaine’s campaign continues

Fresh on the heels of an unsuccessful run for vice president, Senator Tim Kaine was in Charlottesville January 13 at UVA’s Claude Moore Medical Education Building for a town hall with med students on the Affordable Care Act, which faces repeal by the GOP in Congress.

Kaine on health care under Donald Trump:

  • Repeal without replacement: “I will jump off a cliff and figure out how to land once I’m in the air.”
  • Worst victims of repeal: Rural hospitals, reproductive health
  • Upside: Trump’s negotiating skills could help prescription drug costs
  • Cooperation across the aisle in reforming Obamacare: It’s possible.
  • Overall mood: Optimistic and maybe a little naive

ACA repeal protests

Two separate rallies January 15 drew demonstrators to the Downtown Mall and to Republican Tom Garrett’s Charlottesville office to denounce plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Jane Dittmar’s latest gig

Jane Dittmar was unable to overcome the odds in the GOP-heavy 5th District. Photo Eze Amos
Photo by Eze Amos

The former 5th District congressional candidate joins House of Delegates minority leader David Toscano as his chief of staff, succeeding Carmen Bingham. Dittmar has served as chair of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors and as president of the Charlottes-ville Regional Chamber of Commerce. She lost in November to Garrett.

Weekend woundings

Police responded to two separate stabbings January 14. Marc Gardner Carson, 58, is charged with malicious wounding following a 5am call to 7½ Street SW, where the incident resulted in a 58-year-old man being taken to the hospital. Sadie Michie, 27, is charged with malicious wounding for a Sixth Street SE incident that injured a 26-year-old male.

Dish drops Newsplex

The local ABC, CBS and Fox affiliates—found on channels 16, 19 and 27—will no longer be available to Dish Network customers, according to a press release sent January 17. “We are shocked and disappointed,” says Jay Barton, the station’s vice prez and general manager.

School bus fire

schoolBusFire2-I64_VSP
Virginia State Police

An Albemarle County bus carrying the Monticello High swim team began smoking and then ignited on I-64 on Afton Mountain around 5pm January 13. All 23 team members, three coaches and the driver escaped unharmed, and the cause of the conflagration is under investigation.

By the numbers: The General Assembly

Virginia’s legislature kicked off its short session January 11 with Governor Terry McAuliffe giving his last State of the Commonwealth address. So far, a bathroom bill is getting attention, but for many, there are more pressing issues.

45 – Number of days Virginia’s part-time legislature meets

1,272 – Number of bills introduced in the House of Delegates

843 – Number of bills carried in
the Senate

$1.2 billion – Budget shortfall and biggest issue

Quote of the Week:

“[T]his bill serves as a vehicle to undo the monstrosity that is Obamacare.” —U.S. Representative Tom Garrett January 13 after the House approved a budget resolution that would begin the process of dismantling the Affordable Care Act.

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