Gov. Ralph Northam says Virginia’s right-to-work laws should not be repealed. The governor has been working diligently to assure a very concerned business community that 2020’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly won’t repeal the laws that preclude mandatory participation in a union as a condition of employment. Flanked by a row of business leaders on one side and legislative leaders on the other, Northam told the Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates, “I can’t foresee Virginia taking actions [that would include] repeal of the right-to-work law.”

His comments were met with praise by the business community. But some in Northam’s own party strongly oppose the position. Self-described socialist Del. Lee Carter, D-Prince William, tweeted he will again introduce legislation to repeal right-to-work. “Opposition doesn’t stop me from putting in good bills. And repealing RTW is a good bill,” Carter posted. “I’m gonna fight like hell to get it to the governor’s desk. And if he vetoes it, he’ll be the one who has to own that.” If it does, we urge the governor “to own that” belief that Virginia’s right-to-work laws are one of the main reasons for the commonwealth was named the No. 1 state for business by CNBC.


“You can’t change the world unless you know about it.” That’s the guiding principle of 15-year-old Olivia Seltzer of Santa Barbara, Calif., the founder of the news outlet The Cramm. Appearing on the “Today” show Wednesday morning, Olivia explained that she set up after the 2016 presidential election so her contemporaries would have a news source to turn to. She felt that media organizations were overlooking fellow members of Generation Z, those born after the mid-1990s. Today The Cramm reaches readers in 71 counties across six continents. She rises at 5 a.m. each weekday to work on the report, looking through as many news outlets as possible, and then writes up the top news stories in an easy-to-digest format. A small editorial team and “ambassadors” from around the world help provide content. By 7 a.m., she hits the send button, and then it’s time for high school. Media matters to readers of all ages.


Richmonders continue to fly the friendly skies in record numbers. At Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the Capital Region Airport Commission, Richmond International Airport officials reported that passenger traffic rose 2.91% in October. That marks the second-busiest month in the airport’s history and the 25th consecutive month of record passenger traffic. The airport handled 393,124 passengers last month. For the first 10 months of 2019, the airport’s passenger count increased 7.6% to 3.625 million. It’s always bustling when we catch a flight — a trend that we have no doubt will continue.


Looking for a novel gift for the hot and spicy food lover in your life? How about the Paqui Carolina Reaper Madness One Chip Challenge Tortilla Chip? Dubbed the world’s spiciest chip, it is made with the hottest pepper on the planet, the Carolina Reaper. The pepper-infused chip is supposedly so hot, only one crisp is sold per box — for about $30. The fiery fruit was developed in South Carolina by pepper breeder Ed Currie. Guinness World Records first declared the Carolina Reaper the world’s hottest pepper in 2013. Despite ongoing attempts by others to create even hotter contenders, Guinness again bestowed the title to the Carolina Reaper in 2018. Hot peppers are judged by the amount of capsaicin — called the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) — in each variety. The Carolina Reaper has 2.2 million SHUs. By comparison, the jalapeno has 8,000. The Carolina Reaper’s bite is described as being initially sweet and fruity and within seconds turning to molten lava. On second thought, don’t let a loved one anywhere near this monster pepper.


The Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department in Illinois is using lighthearted banter to get criminals to surrender. The department posts a weekly Warrant Wednesday on social media that features wanted posters of alleged criminals who have either skipped a court date or been indicted. The department sometimes digitally adds festive hats and outfits to the mug shots. While the posts are popular and receive a lot of comments, it’s rare that wanted individuals respond online. Last month, Brendon Conti, wanted for missing a DUI court date, did, however. He responded to his photo on Facebook: “I’m appalled. Where’s my costume?” In no time, his picture showed him wearing a sailor’s outfit. “Done! We held up our end of the bargain,” replied the department. “Now, you do the right thing and ‘sail’ yourself on in here and turn yourself in. Or, call us, and we’d be happy to provide you transportation.” Posting laughing face emojis and a thumbs up, Conti responded, “That’s awesome. I’ll be there before noon please have the paperwork done and ready.” And show he did. Who says the police don’t have a sense of humor?

— Robin Beres and Pamela Stallsmith

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