Week in review

News | Flag flown, revenues rising, four post offices under review
by Eric Burk
Posted 9/16/11, 03:08 pm

Flag flown

A U.S. flag measuring nearly 1,700 square feet that has traveled to all 50 states to honor the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks was flown at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday. The Patriot Flag is designed to honor not just the victims of 9/11 but also the U.S. military and the first responders to the attacks. It measures 30 by 56 feet and weighs 75 pounds.

Revenues rising

Virginia's revenues continued a steady, modest climb in August, topping the same month in 2010 by nearly 8 percent, the 13th consecutive monthly increase in general tax collections. State income taxes withheld from paychecks in August increased 13.3 percent, but factor in fewer tax refunds, and net income tax collections were up by 14 percent. Two months into the 2012 fiscal year, that leaves the state's general tax collections nearly 9 percent ahead of where they were at the same point last year and well ahead of the official forecast for 3.7 percent growth.

Ginsburg slides

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 78 and has battled cancer, was forced to slide down an emergency chute to evacuate a flight at Dulles International Airport on Wednesday that was grounded because of engine problems, a court spokeswoman said.

The captain ordered the evacuation of United Airlines Flight 586 after smoke appeared out of one of the plane's engines, said United spokesman Mike Trevino. He said it wasn't clear what caused the smoke, and that the emergency chutes were used to speed the evacuation. In all, 179 passengers and six crew members evacuated. Ginsburg was uninjured.

Pastor imprisoned

The pastor of a Roanoke church has been sentenced to eight months in prison on federal tax and Social Security charges. U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy says the Rev. Joseph Jay Mayo Sr. of Daleville will spend eight months on home confinement after he is released from prison. Mayo had pleaded guilty in May to submitting false tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service. He also admitted to stealing more than $106,000 worth of Social Security benefits that he wasn't entitled to receive. Mayo was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke. Media outlets report that Mayo is the pastor of Paradise Cathedral in Roanoke.

Post offices reviewed

The Postal Service plans to review 4 mail processing facilities in Virginia for possible closure. Two facilities in Norfolk, one in Roanoke and one in Lynchburg are among 252 nationwide on the Postal Service's list to be reviewed. That's in addition to about 3,700 local retail outlets nationwide that are being reviewed for closure, including more than 90 in Virginia.

Postal officials say the reviews will be conducted over the next three months. The Postal Service said Thursday that it also plans to reduce service standards for first-class mail. The steps are part of a broad effort to cut costs. The agency lost $8.5 billion last year and is facing more red ink this year. Over the last five years, mail volume has declined by more than 43 billion items.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.