Va. Dept. of Taxation Accelerated Refund Program Discontinued

Effective December 1, 2016, the accelerated refund program that was offered by the Virginia Department of Taxation with your annual Virginia Income Tax Return was discontinued.  The Virginia Department of Taxation has stopped issuing accelerated refunds to properly detect and prevent fraud and identity theft.  The Federation of Tax Administrators, IRS, and state revenue agencies are working together to detect and prevent refund fraud.

The Virginia Department of Taxation stated that a Virginia individual income tax refund can pass through more than 60 models that evaluate return data, but the accelerated refund didn’t receive the same scrutiny.  Accelerated refunds were issued without review of specific information on the tax return; therefore, the return could not be adequately evaluated for fraud.  Accelerated refunds were the only return not processed before a refund was issued; all other refunds were contingent upon review of all information on the tax return. The accelerated refund was processed before the withholding information was validated and verified with the taxpayer’s employer.  Once a refund has been issued, it is very difficult to recover the funds if it’s later discovered to be a fraudulent return.

The Virginia Department of Taxation issued the following estimations on your 2016 returns.  If you e-File your refund it will generally be processed in up to 4 weeks, paper copies could take up to 8 weeks, and if you mail certified it could take an additional 3 weeks. For additional information,  please contact:

Virginia Department of Taxation

P.O.Box 1115

Richmond, VA 23218-1115

or

By Phone:

Individual Tax Returns call 804-367-8031

Business Tax Returns call  804-367-8037

 

Pulaski County High School’s sports schedule for the coming week

Pulaski County High School’s sports schedule for the coming week:
Tuesday 01/24/17
Girls Basketball: Pulaski Co. @ Carroll Co.  JV @ 5:30, Varsity to follow
Swim: @ C’burg Aquatic Center 6 pm
Wednesday 01/25/17
Boys Basketball: William Byrd @ Pulaski Co.  JV @ 5:30, Varsity to follow
Girls Basketball: Pulaski Co. @ William Byrd  JV @ 5:30, Varsity to follow
Friday 01/27/17
Boys Basketball: Pulaski Co. @ Hidden Valley  JV @ 5:30, Varsity to follow
Girls Basketball: Hidden Valley @ Pulaski Co.  JV @ 5:30, Varsity to follow
Wrestling: @ Big Orange (Day 1)
Indoor Track: @ Va. Tech HS Invite (Day 1)
Saturday 01/28/17
Wrestling: @ Big Orange (Day 2)
Indoor Track: @ Va. Tech HS Invite (Day 2)

Sheriff’s Office reports shooting incident in Draper

From Sheriff Jim Davis

Pulaski County Sheriff”s Deputies responded to the area of Honaker Road in the Draper section of the county Tuesday afternoon to a report of a gun shot wound.

The officers found a male subject that had been shot in the arm, but the wound was not life threatening.

The officers, after an initial investigation, arrested Patricia A. Hancock, age 68 of the same residence. She has been charged with maliciously wounding the victim.

The incident appears to have stemmed from a domestic dispute.

Ms. Hancock is being held at the New River Valley Regional Jail.

Allen’s layup lifts Virginia Tech past Yellow Jackets, 62-61

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — With the final seconds of the game clock quickly ticking away and his team trailed by one, Seth Allen found himself with the ball in his hands.
In other words, he found himself exactly where he wanted to be.
Allen scored the final two of his 17 points on a layup with 15 seconds left to lift Virginia Tech to a 62-61 victory over Georgia Tech on Wednesday night.
It was a game the Hokies needed after losing three of their past four games. Allen hit 6 of 9 from the floor, including three 3-pointers, but none were bigger than his final basket.
“That’s kind of what you ask for when you’re a senior and it’s your last year,” Allen said. “But my teammates having the trust and belief in me to have the ball in my hands . I just wanted to try and make a play. We had unbelievable spacing, unbelievable guys to make everything happen.”
Zach LeDay added 17 points for Virginia Tech, which led by as many as nine in the second half, but couldn’t put away the Yellow Jackets (11-7, 3-3), who had two chances in the final seconds to take the lead. Georgia Tech turned the ball over with :09 left, and then fouled Virginia Tech’s Justin Robinson, who missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Quinton Stephens then missed a contested jumper at the buzzer that would have won the game for Georgia Tech.
“It’s such a fine line,” Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said of winning and losing. “The margin is so thin. Most of our guy know what embrace is. We don’t use the word very often. We just say you have to hug it (the opportunity) . I thought we did a much better job of hugging it tonight.”
Stephens paced the Yellow Jackets with a game-high 18 points, hitting five 3-pointers.
“The shot by Quinton was a 15-foot elbow jumper, and that’s all we can ask for,” Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. “We had a good shot for our guy who was making the most shots, and he just came up short.”
BIG PICTURE
Georgia Tech: The depth-shy Yellow Jackets were picked to finish 14th in the 15-team ACC, but are becoming a tough out for ACC foes. Outside of a blowout loss to Duke on Jan. 4, the Yellow Jackets have been in every game.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies shot just 40 percent (22 of 55) and turned the ball over 13 times against a Georgia Tech squad that played mostly a 1-3-1 zone. But Virginia Tech found a way to win down the stretch against a team they couldn’t afford to lose to at home, especially considering the Hokies play six of their next eight games on the road.
STAT OF THE GAME
Allen’s 17 points tied a season high. After missing a game against Florida State on Jan. 7 because of a blow to the head suffered against NC State on Jan. 5, he is averaging 14.7 points and shooting 61.5 percent from the floor.
UP NEXT
Georgia Tech concludes its three-game road swing on Saturday when the Yellow Jackets play at Virginia.
Virginia Tech closed a three-game home stand and now hits the road for two straight, starting with a game at Clemson on Sunday. The Hokies haven’t won there since 2009.

No. 16 Virginia beats Boston College 71-54

BOSTON (AP) — Devon Hall scored 13 points and Isaiah Wilkins had 11 points and nine rebounds before heading to the bench early on Wednesday night as No. 16 Virginia beat Boston College 71-54.
None of the Cavaliers played more than 25 minutes as they rested up for next week’s games against No. 15 Notre Dame and top-ranked Villanova. Virginia (14-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) beat BC for the fourth straight time.
Connor Tava scored 12 points with a season-high 11 rebounds and Jordan Chatman had 16 points for the Eagles (9-10, 2-4).
Virginia scored the first six points of the game and then scored 15 straight points later in the first half to turn an 8-8 tie into a double-digit lead it never relinquished. The Cavaliers added a 9-2 run at the end of the first half and, after going without a basket for the first 5 minutes of the second, rattled off 14 of 16 points to clinch it.
BIG PICTURE
Virginia: The early blowout allowed Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett to get his starters some rest before next week’s games against Notre Dame and Villanova.
Boston College: After winning its first two ACC home games at home, Boston College struggled with a conference power.
UP NEXT
Virginia: hosts Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Boston College: hosts No. 9 North Carolina on Saturday.

So, you want to chase the national title

The Locker Room

By Dan Callahan

The Patriot

 

    It’s time to clear off the remaining stuff from the past college football season because recruiting is coming down the stretch and the focus becomes the next football season. Here are just a few leftover items from the national championship game you may or may not be aware of.

     1- Before Clemson defeated Alabama for the title last week, Alabama coach Nick Saban was 97-0 with a double-digit lead heading into the fourth quarter. A stunning record, however, now he’s 97-1. That makes Clemson’s stirring fourth quarter even more impressive.

     2- Until this year, there had never been a national championship rematch before. Alabama won last year and finished, 14-1. Clemson won this year and finished 14-1. Let’s call it even. The next one will be the tiebreaker.

     3- Starting at 8:19 and ending at 12:27. The title game lasted 4 hours and 8 minutes, 23 minutes longer than the previous two. There are two major reasons for that. The game was on ESPN and they sold every possible minute of advertising air space they could. The network, owned by Disney, is losing money big time. This was an opportunity to sell the most expensive air time possible other than the Super Bowl. It’s called making hay while the sun shines. Also, the replays, many of which I did not think were even necessary, and they take so long when after watching a single replay on the screen makes the right call obvious to most viewers. There were slightly over 22 minutes devoted to replays. In some ways, the replay has helped the game, but often, too often, it has hurt the game. But remember one thing. The officials are not the ones that asked for instant replay, something that has ended up being not very instant at all.

      But as Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said, his program is now on top of the mountain. It was a chase to get there, but what did it take? It takes a lot, more than most realize. Say you are a Virginia Tech or Virginia fan. What are you facing to keep up with Clemson, to recruit at the Tigers’ level, to have the necessary depth in your program to compete at the very highest level, and the last national title game was at the highest level in this opinion.

     This is how it happened for Clemson and Swinney. First, his school is in a part of the country where he can concentrate his recruiting primarily in four states and get most of the players he needs, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and when he sees somebody real special in Virginia, he can come get him too, the Clemson program is building notoriety, and now it is even more of recruiting factory.

     Clemson has a staff of tireless recruiters. Since 2009 the Tigers’ recruiting classes have averaged ranking 14.8 in the nation, but that number is rising with each passing year, and you’ll see more of that later down in this column. Swinney got the Clemson administration to devote more resources ($$$) to recruiting, and he wanted even more resources, material resources. 

     And what has happened? Clemson is getting ready to open a $55-million football complex at the end of the month. Not a sports complex. A football complex with some unusual player amenities, like a weight room, a dining hall, meeting rooms and offices, all just for football. Then toss in a players’ lounge that features pool tables, miniature golf, a golf simulator, laser tag, a bowling alley, sand volleyball courts, and a 24-seat high-definition theater. There’s also a giant indoor slide connecting one floor to the next just for fun. “It’s crazy man,” says Swinney. That’s right, the rich get richer, and so goes the chase for the top. How much money you got?

Coaching and stuff:

     On the high school front former Pulaski County coach Todd Jones will take over the Essex job next season, and the Christiansburg coaching position went to a Glenvar assistant……….The College Football Playoff Committee continues to make good decisions. One of the three new members will be former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, an excellent decision. Some question the committee’s choices, and usually that’s because of personal likes and dislikes, but I think the committee has done an excellent job over the three years of the playoffs, and I expect that to continue……Want a sneak peek? The first week of the football season next fall has Alabama playing Florida State, Michigan playing Florida, Georgia Tech facing Tennessee, and the Hokies and West Virginia battling in the Redskins’ house. Best thing that’s happened there in a long time. See, you’re already getting excited……and how about this, former Fort Chiswell Pioneer Coleman Thomas, presently playing center for Tennessee was named to the all-bowl team in the offensive line.

Recruiting:

      Programs are coming down the home stretch. Crucial recruiting decisions are going to be made in the next few days. National signing day is February 1. Tech currently ranks 6th in the ACC, FSU leads the way followed by Clemson, Miami, and Carolina. UVa is 9th. The Hokies are 35th nationally, UVa 48, and for local Mountaineer fans, WVU is 41. All three of them very much want to improve those rankings.

      We’ll look at the national picture next week, but who’s who and who ain’t will not change very much in the world of college football. The best coaches seem to get to coach the best players. The teams that win the most also seem to have the best players. Funny how that works. 

     Where are the best players going so far? We’ll just look at the highest ranking, the five star players, the cream of the crop. Alabama presently has seven 5-star players committed and don’t bet against that going up another one or two, Ohio State has six, FSU 3, Clemson 3, Michigan, LSU, and Georgia two, and Texas A&M, Penn State, Iowa, and Oklahoma all have one. Five star recruits do not determine the overall quality of an entire class, but it’s a danged good place to start. 

     Back to Clemson’s recruiting. The Tigers are only ranked 12th in the nation presently, but that’s only because they have gotten just 13 commitments. Most people are well above 20 by now and the usual finishing number is around 25. Programs can only have 85 scholarships total in a program, but these days a bunch of them no longer stick around to earn the sheepskins, so often there are openings other than just the graduating seniors. 

      But here’s the bad news if you are other ACC programs. Clemson just won the national title, but can’t sign a full load of recruits because its program is so young and most of its players return, including almost its entire defense. Sure, what about the quarterback and a couple of those great receivers. First, Clemson has excellent speed receivers in the program, and what happens without DeShawn Watson at QB? Clemson will sign the number one rated quarterback in the nation in just a few days, one of its three, 5-star recruits, and just in case he is not what he appears to be, the Tigers already have a commitment from the 2018 class top rated 5-star QB in the land. And so goes the chase for the top.

Bagwell, Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

NEW YORK (AP) — Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.
Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. But they received a majority of votes for the first time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.
Bagwell , on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.
“Anxiety was very, very high,” Bagwell said. “I wrote it on a ball tonight. It was kind of cool.”
In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.
Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.
Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.
Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.
Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.
Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.
Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport’s dominant speedster.
Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball’s 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: “Only God knows.”
Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.
Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.
Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.
A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball’s drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and ’07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.
Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones and Jim Thome in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.
Lee Smith, who had 478 saves, got 34 percent in his final time on the ballot. Jorge Posada, Tim Wakefield and Magglio Ordonez were among the players who got under 5 percent and fell off future ballots.

Goodlatte & Griffith Statement on USPS Audit of Roanoke Mail Center Consolidation

Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) and Morgan Griffith (VA-09) today issued the following statement upon receiving the final report of the audit they requested in May 2016 from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the United States Postal Service (USPS) regarding consolidation of mail processing operations at the Roanoke, VA, Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) into the Greensboro P&DC:

“We appreciate receiving the OIG report on the impact of consolidation between the Roanoke and Greensboro Processing and Distribution Centers. Going forward, we will continue to press for answers and solutions as our constituents voice complaints about the timeliness and quality of mail delivery in the Roanoke region. To be clear, we are not satisfied with the overall delivery standards of mail nationwide, and will continue to work with our colleagues on solutions that can strengthen the financial stability of USPS, while improving standards of service for our constituents.”

Background

After Goodlatte and Griffith began receiving a significant increase in communications regarding lost or delayed mail, the timing of which strongly suggested a connection to the closing of the Roanoke processing facility, on May 26, 2016, they sent a letter to the USPS OIG requesting an audit. A copy of that original request may be found here.

Sheriff’s office seeks help in identifying subjects

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for assistance in identifying the subjects pictured above involved in a larceny at Wal-Mart.

Please contact Sergeant Ritter at (540) 980-7800.

Ed Gillespie issues statement on AG office pay raises

RICHMOND, VA – Longtime conservative leader, 2014 U.S. Senate candidate and 2017 Republican candidate for Governor Ed Gillespie on Wednesday criticized Attorney General Mark Herring’s use of forfeiture funds to provide pay raises for his staff.

“Attorney General Mark Herring used an obscure federal loophole and accounting gimmicks to give his staff massive pay raises. According to media reports, he appears to have purposefully sought out ways to evade the rules and cut corners, ignoring the spirit of the law and the fiscal realities facing the Commonwealth, to provide back-door pay raises generated from forfeiture funds. Putting staff pay raises ahead of funds for law enforcement and using one-time money to provide ongoing salary increases is an irresponsible decision based on misplaced priorities.

“The Attorney General knows Virginia State Police faces a massive manpower shortage, sheriffs and local law enforcement agencies are hurting, and rank and file state employees lost their pay raise due to the revenue shortfall. Funds from the Abbott Labs settlement were very clearly meant to be used to provide training and equipment for local law enforcement, combat human trafficking, and prosecute child pornography. Relying on one-time forfeiture funds to provide ongoing salary increases when the state is facing a $1.2 billion shortfall is irresponsible. While I have no doubt that the civil employees of the Attorney General’s office are hardworking and dedicated, the Attorney General needs to explain why these raises were appropriate given the intended uses of the fund and the fiscal challenges facing state government.”

Background

AP: Feds advise workaround on asset forfeiture rule
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/409e612ad32a4e6aaa37adfdefbc270b

Proposed use of Abbott settlement funds
http://www.oag.state.va.us/component/content/article?id=299