News in Briefs: March 27

*Students research archives in Spain*

History professor Lu Ann Homza and students Kimberly Basset ’11, Eric Schmalz ’10 and Amanda Scott ’09 traveled to Pamplona, Spain over spring break to research at the Archivo Diocesano de Pamplona and the Archivo Real y General de Navarra. These archives contain handwritten accounts of Spanish history. According to Homza, students were required to read and contextualize the texts.

“These two archives hold a breathtaking number of holdings on witchcraft trials, clerical misbehavior, the medieval Jewish population, disputes over jurisdiction among the Inquisition, the viceroy and the bishop,” Homza said.

Basset researched the role of children during witch trials. Schmalz concentrated on a 1585 case in Legasa, Spain, regarding confessions and Scott researched clerical misbehavior. The three students attended a weekly paleography seminar in the fall to prepare for the trip.
*Virginia receives funds from Defense Department*

Virginia Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner announced that the Department of Defense has released nearly $330 million of funding that would directly benefit the Commonwealth. The money was released as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Restoration and sustainability projects will receive $245 million and an additional $83 million goes to military construction projects. These include modernizing and repairing medical facilities at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center and Langley Air Force Base, repairing runways at Naval Air Station Oceana and Naval Air Station Norfolk and installing energy-efficient photovoltaic cells in Hampton Roads and Norfolk area military facilities.

“These projects will help create jobs in the short-term while also promoting longer-range energy savings and improving quality-of-life circumstances for many of Virginia’s military families,” Warner said.

*‘Webb Sites’ session held to help local residents*

Virginia Sen. Jim Webb held office hours for residents in Portsmouth and surrounding areas as part of the “Webb Sites” program. Residents could speak one-on-one with Webb’s staff representatives.

“This program has enabled my state staff to reach out to communities across the Commonwealth and assist constituents with federal issues,” Webb said in a press release. “Proper service is best delivered through one-on-one interaction.”

The “Webb Sites” program has held over 125 sessions in at least 50 communities over the past two years. Issues addressed include Social Security and Medicare benefits, veterans’ benefits, legal immigration, federal student loans, military service and other federally-related matters.


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