Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat, will try to tie his opponent, Glenn Youngkin, to former President Donald Trump, while Mr. Youngkin will try to sidestep Mr. Trump but not reject him.
Mr. McAuliffe, who previously served as governor, overcame four rivals, benefiting from the support of the party establishment. His victory set up a general election race against a wealthy Republican, Glenn Youngkin.
Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe is seeking his old job, and Democrats will square off in races for lieutenant governor and attorney general.
The U.S. has fallen way behind Europe partly because of an old shipping law and opposition from homeowners and fishing groups.
Kimberlee Stevenson was a fan of John Murray’s books. After they connected on social media, he became her biggest admirer.
In his 30 years in the Senate, the former Navy secretary was a leading Republican voice on military policy. He was also once married to Elizabeth Taylor.
Welcome to the world of over-Zoomed politics
Juanisha Brooks said the authorities did not tell her the reason she was stopped even when she asked repeatedly. The charges against her have since been dropped.
Glenn Youngkin, a first-time candidate with vast wealth, will deliver a pro-business message intended to win over suburban voters. Democrats plan to portray him as a Trump devotee.
Mr. Youngkin, a wealthy newcomer to politics who walked a line between the Trump base of the G.O.P. and business interests, will look to test Democrats’ strength in the blue-leaning state in November.
As the party prepares to pick its nominee this weekend, the race embodies the collapse of Republican power in a state that has tilted more sharply to Democrats than perhaps any other.
John Cameron Denton, 27, and his co-conspirators, who targeted journalists, a cabinet secretary and a Black church, were fueled by racial animosity, federal prosecutors said.
A judge found James L. Jordan not guilty by reason of insanity in the fatal stabbing of Ronald S. Sanchez Jr. along the trail in 2019.
Isaiah Brown was on a cordless phone with an emergency dispatcher when he was shot, his lawyer said. His family said he was in intensive care.
Ms. Roem, a Virginia delegate who in 2018 became the first openly transgender legislator in the country, spoke with The Times about Republicans’ anti-trans crusade and how Democrats can push back.
Police say, ‘This is not who we are.’ Prove it.
Mark Herring, the attorney general, requested records going back as far as a decade after two officers were involved in a traffic stop during which a Black U.S. Army lieutenant was pepper-sprayed.
Joe Gutierrez, who is accused of using excessive force during a traffic stop in Windsor, Va., has been dismissed, the town said.
Seth Aaron Pendley was arrested on Thursday and charged with plotting to blow up an Amazon data center in Virginia, prosecutors said.
Once again, the state is shaping up to be a case study in the complexities around the politics of race and power.
At a debate for Virginia governor, Mr. Fairfax, the state’s lieutenant governor, denounced Mr. McAuliffe for urging him to resign after women accused Mr. Fairfax of sexual assault in 2019.
Noah R. Green had been distressed but had no known history of violence when he rammed his car into two police officers, killing one and injuring another before being killed himself.
After losing an ugly congressional race last year, Denver Riggleman is leading a charge against the conspiracy-mongering coursing through his party. He doesn’t have many allies.
For nearly 50 years, the state was subject to Voting Rights Act rules meant to deter racial discrimination. Those federal guidelines are now shredded, but Virginia just recreated them on its own.
Monuments to the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are not protected by state law and can come down, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
Child-care centers improvised during the pandemic, scrambling to stay open with razor-thin budgets and little government guidance. How long will the short-term solutions last?
The police chief described a “chaotic” night involving what appeared to be three instances of gunfire.
Virginia’s move to end the death penalty was a welcome step. The administration can do more.
“Ending the death penalty comes down to one fundamental question, one question: Is it fair?” said Gov. Ralph Northam, who signed the bill on Wednesday.
The political divide on gun policy between red and blue states is another example of the way national issues — including abortion rights and, in the post-Trump era, voting rights — are defining local politics.
The association accused a Virginia urology practice of trying to affiliate its brand with the March Madness tournaments. It is the second dispute with the practice in five years.
Because news of its SPAC-fueled public market debut wasn’t enough, Rocket Lab also unveiled a new class of rocket it has in development on Monday. The launch vehicle, called Neutron, will be able to carry 8 metric tons (around 18,000 lbs) to orbit, far exceeding the cargo capacity of Rocket Lab’s current Electron vehicle, which can host only around 660 lbs. Neutron will also have a fully reusable first-stage, designed to launch on an ocean landing platform, not unlike SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster.
Rocket Lab says that Neutron will be designed to service increased demand from customers launching large multi-satellite constellations. The heavier lift will mean that it can take more small satellites up at one time to get those constellations in orbit more quickly. Its cargo rating also means it should be able to deliver up to 98% of all currently-forecasted spacecraft launching through 2029, according to Rocket Lab, and provide resupply services to the International Space Station. Rocket Lab also says it’ll be capable of human spaceflight missions, indicating an ambition to make it the company’s first human-rated spacecraft.
Neutron could significantly expand Rocket Lab’s customer base, and it’ll also improve costs and economics vs. what Electron can do now, thanks to a design focus don efficiency and reusability. The rocket will launch from Rocket Lab’s Wallops, Virginia facility, and since there’s already a launch pad in place for it, the company expects it’ll be able to fly Neutron for the first time by 2024. In addition to its LA-based HQ and the Wallops launch site, Rocket Lab anticipates it’ll be building a new Neutron production facility somewhere in the U.S. to build the new rocket at scale.
While it won’t have the launch capacity of SpaceX’s Falcon 9, it’s still intended to be a rocket that can also carry smaller payloads to the Moon and even deep space beyond. The medium-lift category in general is generating a lot of interest right now, given the projections in the amount and variety of constellations that both private and public organization are expected to put into orbit over the next decade. Constellations are offering advantages in terms of cost and coverage for everything from communications to Earth observation. Another rocket startup, Relativity Space, just unveiled similar plans for a larger launch vehicle to complement its first small rocket.
The SPAC run is on for space startups, which have been relatively slow in their overall exit pace before the current special purpose acquisitions company merger craze got underway. Rocket Lab is the latest, and likely the most notable to jump on the trend, with a deal that will see it combine with a SPAC called Vector and subsequently list on the NASDAQ under the ticker RKLB, with the transaction expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
Rocket Lab, which got its start in New Zealand, and which still launches rockets there with its HQ now shifted to LA, will have a pro forma enterprise value of $4.1 billion via the transaction, with a total cash balance of $750 million once the deal goes through thanks to a PIPE of $470 million with funds invested via Vector, BlackRock and others. At close, existing Rocket Lab shareholders will retain 82% of the total equity in the combined company.
The launch company was founded in 2006, and is led by founder Peter Beck. In 2013, it opened its California headquarters, and it has already completed its first U.S. launch facility at Wallops Island, Virginia. The company’s Electron launch vehicle can carry small payloads to orbit, and is designed to cater to the growing small satellite market, with a focus on responsive and flexible launch options.
Rocket Lab has performed launches on behalf of the U.S. government, including national security payloads, and that’s a key revenue opportunity for it gown forward. Currently, it says it has a backlog of customers, with a projection that it will be ‘EBITDA positive’ in 2023 after adjustments, and fully cash-flow positive by 2024, with a projected run rate of over $1 billion in revenue by 2026.
The company has focused on increasing its ability to launch more frequently in a number of ways. It’s been steadily improving its production capacity, with a focus on its large automated carbon fiber production capabilities. It has also established its U.S. launch site, as mentioned, and will soon open its second launch pad at its existing New Zealand launch site, which is fully privately-owned by Rocket Lab itself. It’s also working on making its Electron vehicle partially reusable, which founder Beck says will help it turn around launches more quickly.
Finally, it has just announced a new heavier-lift launch vehicle called Neutron, with a launch payload capacity of 8 tons – around 16,000 lbs.
The Bray School, which taught Christianity and reading to free and enslaved Black children, was found tucked inside a campus building at William & Mary in Virginia.
State power is the path to racial equality and liberation.
In a sign of the Trump era’s lingering alternate realities, Republicans in the struggling state party are refusing to move forward with a new system for choosing nominees.
Millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine are still sitting in freezers, allocated in excess to nursing homes or stockpiled for later use. Now states are claiming them.
Virginia is poised to follow in California’s footsteps any minute now and become the second state in the country to adopt a comprehensive online data protection law for consumers.
If adopted, the Consumer Data Protection Act would apply to entities of a certain size that do business in Virginia or have users based in Virginia. The bill enjoys broad popular support among state lawmakers; it passed 89-9 in the Virginia House and unanimously (39-0) in the state Senate, and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is widely expected to sign it into law without issue in the coming days.
In the absence of a general-purpose federal privacy framework, states all over the nation are very slowly stepping in with their own solutions. The Virginia law is somewhat modeled on California’s landmark Consumer Privacy Act, which was signed into law in 2018 and took effect on January 1, 2020. Legislatures in several other states—including Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Washington—have some kind of data privacy bills currently under consideration.
When Harry H. Roger drove his pickup truck through protesters near Richmond, Va., his girlfriend’s 14-year-old son was in the vehicle with him, prosecutors said.
Numerous obstacles make extending the school year a tough proposition, but the Biden administration wants to put billions behind it as a way of offsetting pandemic-era learning losses.
Democrats in control of the Legislature are pushing for a ban on executions, the latest policy change in an ascendant progressive agenda in the state.
Anne Sacoolas, the wife of an American diplomat, is charged with causing death by dangerous driving after colliding with Harry Dunn, a teenage motorcyclist, in 2019.
Google, together with its partner SubCom, today announced that the company’s privately owned Dunant subsea cable between Virginia Beach, Virginia and Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez on the French Atlantic coast is now operational.
Google first announced this project, which was named after the first Noble Peach Price winner and founder of the Red Cross, Henry Dunant, back in the middle of 2018. At the time it expected the project to go live in 2020, but besides dealing with the complications of spanning a long cable between continents, the project leaders probably didn’t budget for a global pandemic at the time.
The almost 4,000-mile cable has a total capacity of 250 terabits per second — or enough to transmit the “entire digitized Library of Congress three times every second” (though maybe using Library of Congress data size references is starting to feel a bit antiquated at this point?). Unlike some older cables, Dunant uses 12 fiber pairs, coupled with a number of technical innovations around maximizing its bandwidth, to achieve these numbers.
“Google is dedicated to meeting the exploding demand for cloud services and online content that continues unabated,” said Mark Sokol, senior director of Infrastructure, Google Cloud. “With record-breaking capacity and transmission speeds, Dunant will help users access content wherever they may be and supplement one of the busiest routes on the internet to support the growth of Google Cloud. Dunant is a remarkable achievement that would not have been possible without the dedication of both SubCom and Google’s employees, partners, and suppliers, who overcame multiple challenges this year to make this system a reality.”
With Dunant now being operational, the next Google cable to go live will be the Grace Hopper cable between New York and Europe, with landing sites in Bilbao, Spain and Bude, UK. Google first announced this new cable, which it is also building in partnership with SubCom, last July. It’s expected to go online in 2022 and will feature a total of 16 fiber pairs.
In addition, Google is also building the Equiano cable from South Africa to Portugal. This cable is supposed to go online later this year.
In addition to its privately-owned cables, Google is also a partner in a number of consortiums that band together to build cable systems.
Folx Health is leveraging the explosion of virtual care services to offer greater access to healthcare focused on the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community, and has raised $25 million in new funding to help it grow.
It’s part of a revolution in care that’s targeting the needs of specific communities with access to physicians that understand those needs. And it’s all made possible by virtual interactions.
“We have a good sense of the nature of the need and the depth of the pain in the community,” said A.G. Breitenstein, the founder and chief executive of Folx Health. “As a non-binary lesbian and healthcare industry veteran, I have seen and experienced firsthand just how broken the current system is for the queer and trans community,”
Breitenstein said Folx would be using the cash to try and expand to all fifty states and increase the available products and services the healthcare company would look to make available to the queer and trans community.
“Whether it’s HRT, PrEP, sexual health or family creation, health care is essential for us to be who we are. It’s about time we build a platform for ourselves, so Queer and Trans people feel seen, heard, and celebrated,” she said in a statement.
That was one reason why Bessemer Venture Partners leapt at the chance to lead the new financing round for Folx, according to Morgan Cheatham, an investor out of Bessemer’s New York office. The other was the size of the market.
“At a high level, 2% of the population identify as transgender,” said Cheatham. “At that math, when we looked at that, we were able to see a multibillion dollar market opportunity not just to provide [hormone replacement therapy], but to provide a healthcare destination for this community.”
Telescoping out to the opportunity to provide care to the LGBTQ community broadly, when that population represents about 10% to 20% of the population is a “deca-billion opportunity,” said Cheatham.
Breitenstein envisions offering family planning services, broad primary care, and sexual health and wellness care in addition to the hormone therapies that the company currently offers.
Folx joins a cohort of companies tackling health issues specifically for the LGBTQIA+ community which include the mental healthcare service, Violet; Included Health, an employee benefit service; and Plume, which focuses on care for the transgender community.
“We believed in the vision and the approach that she’s taking. She’s building a healthcare experience that is celebratory and dignified rather than one that pathologizing healthcare,” said Cheatham.
For Bessemer and Cheatham, the investment speaks to broader opportunities to identify specific populations that need care tailored to their specific experience. That includes companies like Spora Health and Live Chair Health, which focus on providing healthcare specifically to people of color.
“Our individual identities whether it be socioeconomic status, race, gender… All of these things inform how we interface with the medical industrial complex,” Cheatham said.
Previous investors Define Ventures and Polaris Venture Partners will also participate in the round, which follows quickly on the heels of Folx’s launch from stealth in December 2020.
For its patients, Folx Health is offering Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT: testosterone or estrogen) with monthly plans starting at $59 a month. Folx Health will also begin releasing its sexual health and wellness offerings starting with Erectile Dysfunction (ED) treatment, soon to be followed by at-home STI Testing and Treatment, all customized for the specifics of Queer and Trans bodies, the company said.
The services will include unlimited on-demand clinical support with at-home lab testing (for most plans) and home-delivered medications (costs may vary based on medication). The company’s services are now available in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
The company is also launching a Folx Library, which will serve as a content hub and resource for Queer and Trans health, written by Folx clinicians and its broader community.
“Our partnership with Folx is a historical moment. It’s challenging to articulate how transformative Folx is for our community. We do so mindful of the brilliant and brave Queer and Trans people who fought for this moment to happen,” said Cheatham in a statement.
While most arrests in the Capitol riot have been individuals, new charges accused three people tied to a right-wing militia of conspiring to commit violence.
Only a few weeks after its SPAC IPO, Porch today announced that it has made four acquisitions, worth a total of $122 million. The most important here is probably the acquisition of Homeowners of America for $100 million, which gets Porch deeper into the home insurance space. In addition, Porch is also acquiring mover marketing and data platform V12 for $22 million, as well as home inspection service Palm-Tech and iRoofing, a SaaS application for roofing contractors. Porch did not disclose the acquisition prices for the latter two companies.
You may still think of Porch as a marketplace for home improvement and repair services — and that’s what it started out as when it launched about seven years ago. Yet while it still offers those services, a couple of years after its 2013 launch, the company pivoted to building what it now calls a “vertical software platform for the home.” Through a number of acquisitions, the Porch Group now includes Porch.com, as well as services like HireAHelper, Inspection Support Network for home inspectors, Kandela for providing services around moving and an insurance broker in the form of the Elite Insurance Group. In some form or another, Porch’s tools are now used — either directly or indirectly — by two-thirds of U.S. homebuyers every month.
As Porch founder and CEO Matt Ehrlichman told me, he had originally planned to take his company public through a traditional IPO. He noted that going the increasingly popular SPAC route, though, allowed him to push his timeline up by a year, which in turn now enables the company to make the acquisitions it announced today.
“In total, we had a $323 million fundraise that allows us now to not only be a public company with public currency, but to be very well capitalized. And picking up that year allows us to be able to go and pursue acquisitions that we think make really good fits for Porch,” Ehrlichman told me. While Porch’s guidance for its 2021 revenue was previously $120 million, it’s now updating that guidance to $170 million based on these acquisitions. That would mean Porch would grow its revenue by about 134% year-over-year between 2020 and 2021.
As the company had previously laid out in its public documents, the plan for 2021 was always to get deeper into insurance. Indeed, as Ehrlichman noted, Porch these days tends to think of itself as a vertical software company that layers insurtech on top of its services in order to be able to create a recurring revenue stream. And because Porch offers such a wide range of services already, its customer acquisition costs are essentially zero for these services.
Porch was already a licensed insurance brokerage. With Homeowners of America, it is acquiring a company that is both an insurance carrier as well as a managing general agent..
“We’re able to capture all of the economic value from the consumer as we help them get insurance set up with their new home and we can really control that experience to delight them. As we wrap all the technology we’ve invested in around that experience we can make it super simple and instant to be able to get the right insurance at the right price for your new home. And because we have all of this data about the home that nobody else has — from the inspection we know if the roof is old, we know if the hot water system is gonna break soon and all the appliances — we know all of this data and so it just gives us a really big advantage in insurance.”
Data, indeed, is what a lot of these acquisitions are about. Because Porch knows so much about so many customers, it is able to provide the companies it acquires with access to relevant data, which in turn helps them offer additional services and make smarter decisions.
Homeowners of America is currently operating in six states (Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia) and licensed in 31. It has a network of more than 800 agencies so far and Porch expects to expand the company’s network and geographic reach in the coming months. “Because we have [customer acquisition cost]-free demand all across the country, one of the opportunities for us is simply just to expand that across the nation,” Ehrlichman explained.
As for V12, Porch’s focus is on that company’s mover marketing and data platform. The acquisition should help it reach its medium-term goal of building a $200 million revenue stream in this area. V12 offers services across multiple verticals, though, including in the automotive space, and will continue to do so. The platform’s overall focus is to help brands identify the right time to reach out to a given consumer — maybe before they decide to buy a new car or move. With Porch’s existing data layered on top of V12’s existing capabilities, the company expects that it will be able to expand these features and it will also allow Porch to not offer mover marketing but what Ehrlichman called “pro-mover” services, as well.
“V12 anchors what we call our marketing software division. A key focus of that is mover marketing. That’s where it’s going to have, long term, tremendous differentiation. But there are a number of other things that they’re working on that are going to have really nice growth vectors, and they’ll continue to push those,” said Ehrlichman.
As for the two smaller acquisitions of iRoofing and Palm-Tech, these are more akin to some of the previous acquisitions the company made in the contractor and inspection verticals. Like with those previous acquisitions, the plan is to help them grow faster, in part through integrating them into the overall Porch group’s family of products.
“Our business is and continues to be highly recurring or reoccurring in nature,” said Porch CFO Marty Heimbigner. “Nearly all of our revenues, including that of these new acquisitions, is consistent and predictable. This repeat revenue is also high margin with less than 20% cost of revenue and is expected to grow more than 30% per year on our platform. So, we believe these deals are highly accretive for our shareholders.”
The Supreme Court declared it was unconstitutional to execute intellectually disabled people. On Thursday, we’re set to do it anyway.
As the vaccination campaign to counter COVID-19 gets underway (albeit with a rocky start), a number of companies are attempting to support its rollout in a variety of ways. Healthvana, a health tech startup that began with a specific focus on providing patient information digitally for individuals living with HIV, is helping Los Angeles County roll out mobile vaccination records for COVID-19 using Apple’s Wallet technology. A cursory appraisal of the implementation of this tech might lead one to believe it’s about providing individuals with easy proof of vaccination — but the tech, and Healthvana, are focused on informing individuals to ensure they participate in their own healthcare programs, not providing an immunity pass.
“I generally consider most of healthcare to look and feel like Windows 95,” Healthvana CEO and founder Ramin Bastani said. “We look and feel like Instagram . Why is that important? Because patients can engage in things they understand, it’s easier for them to communicate in the way they’re used to communicating, and that ends up leading them to better health outcomes.”
Bastani points out that they began the company by focusing this approach to patient education and communication on HIV, and demonstrated that using their software led to patients being 7.4 times more likely to show up for their next follow-up appointment versus patients who received follow-up information and appointment notices via traditional methods. The company has built their tooling and their approach around not only producing better health for individuals, but also on reducing costs for healthcare providers by eliminating the need for a lot of the work that goes into clearing up misunderstandings, and essentially hounding patients to follow-up, which can significantly dig into clinician and care staff hours.
“We’re actually also reducing the cost to healthcare providers, because you don’t have 1,000 people calling you asking what are their results, and saying ‘I don’t understand, I can’t log in, I don’t know what it means to be SARS nonreactive,’ or all those things we address through simplicity,” Bastani said. “That’s made a huge difference. Overall, I think the key to all healthcare is going to be to be able to get patients to pay attention, and take action to things around their health.”
That’s the goal of Healthvana’s partnership with LA County on COVID-19 immunization records, too — taking vitally important action to ensure the successful rollout of its vaccination program. All approved COVID-19 vaccines to date require a two-course treatment, including one initial inoculation followed by a booster to be administered sometime later. Keeping LA county residents informed about their COVID-19 inoculation, and when they’re due for a second dose, is the primary purpose of the partnership, and benefits from Healthvana’s experience in improving patient follow-up activities. But the app is also providing users with information about COVID-19 care, and, most usefully, prevention and ways to slow the spread.
While Bastani stresses that Healthvana is, in the end, just “the last mile” for message delivery, and that there are many other layers involved in determining the right steps for proper care and prevention, the way in which they provide actionable info has already proven a big boon to one key measure: contact tracing. In select municipalities, Healthvana will also prompt users who’ve tested positive to anonymously notify close contacts directly from their device, which will provide those individuals with both free testing options and information resources.
“Just us doing this in the greater Los Angeles area for less than two months, 12,000+ people have been notified that they’ve been exposed,” Bastani said. “Each of them likely lives with other people and families — this is how you can help slow the spread.”
Contrast that with the relatively slow uptake of the exposure notification tools built into iOS and Android devices via recent software updates provided by Google and Apple working in a rare collaboration. While the technology that underlies it is sound, and focused on user privacy, its usage numbers thus far are far from earthshaking; only 388 people have sent alerts through Virginia’s app-based on the exposure notification framework in three months since its launch, for instance.
Healthvana’s focus on timely and relevant delivery of information, offered to users in ways they’re mostly likely to understand and engage with, is already showing its ability to have an impact on COVID-19 and its community transmission. The startup is already in talks to launch similar programs elsewhere in the country, and that could help improve national vaccination outcomes, and how people handle COVID-19 once they have it, too.
“Cause of Life” celebrates the messy, tenacious, and extraordinary lives of five people we lost to Covid-19.
Rocket Lab has completed its 17th mission, putting a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite on orbit for client Synspective, a Tokyo-based space startup that has raised over $100 million in funding to date. Syspective aims to operate a 30-satellite constellation that can provide global imaging coverage of Earth, with SAR’s benefits of being able to see through clouds and inclement weather, as well as in all lighting conditions.
This is Synspective’s first satellite on orbit, and it took off from Rocket Lab’s launch facility on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. It will operate in a sun synchronous orbit approximately 300,000 miles from Earth, and will act a a demonstrator of the startup’s technology to pave the way for the full constellation, which will provide commercially available SAR data avails both raw, and processed via the company’s in-development AI technology to provide analytics and insights.
For Rocket Lab, this marks the conclusion of a successful year in launch operations, which also saw the company take its key first steps towards making its Electron launch system partially reusable. The company did have one significant setback as well, with a mission that failed to deliver its payloads to orbit in July, but the company quickly bounced back from that failure with improvements to prevent a similar incident in future.
In 2021, Rocket Lab will aim to launch its first mission from the U.S., using its new launch facility at Wallops Island, in Virginia. That initial U.S. flight was supposed to happen in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a NASA certification process for one of its systems, pushed the launch to next year.