Archive for June, 2011

No Child Left Behind

The U-S Secretary of Education says if Congress doesn’t reauthorize No Child Left Behind…he’ll deal with schools directly. Matt Laslo reports that the announcement has ruffled some feathers in Virginia.


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Mental Health Reform & Virginia’s Kids

More than 100,000 Virginia children suffer from some type of serious mental health disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia … yet according to a Department of Behavioral Health study, many of their needs are not being met.  But as Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, a child advocacy group has sent a letter to Governor McDonnell that recommends reforms to implement before the problem gets worse. 


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PolitiFact: The National Debt & Bus Safety

Virginia Congressman Scott Rigell recently surprised some people when he said the U.S national debt is actually seven times larger than we’ve been led to believe. That, and bus safety are the issues Fred Echols and Warren Fiske talk about on this week’s PolitiFact Virginia report.


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In-State Students

Virginia’s colleges and universities will be adding six-thousand new slots for in-state students this Fall thanks to initiatives enacted by the General Assembly this past session.  And as Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, the bill signed by Governor McDonnell aims to enable tens of thousands of additional students to get college degrees over the next 15-years.


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Energy Legislation

Environmental groups are applauding Governor McDonnell’s signing of eight pieces of legislation that he says will help Virginia become the energy capital of the East Coast.  But as Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, they also say the Commonwealth has a lot of catching up to do to compete with other states that are seeking the same designation.


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School Safety

Photo Courtesy of Michaele White

Virginia is erecting another road block to restrict sex offenders’ access to children, making obscene texting illegal, and enacting other public-safety measures under legislation ceremonially signed into law today by Governor McDonnell.  The bills offer students additional protections during school and while being transported … and as Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, their impact will also extend elsewhere throughout communities.


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Girls on the Run

Middle school is a tough time for kids – especially girls, as they deal with changing bodies and social pressures.  To better prepare them, a group called  GIRLS ON THE RUN has started a program  that combines esteem-building exercises with training for a 5K race.  Virginia Public Radio’s Sandy Hausman has that story.


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Virginia & Tropical Rainforests

Recently the environmental group Greenpeace stepped up its campaign against rainforest destruction – claiming it had analyzed packaging used by toymaker Mattel and concluded the cardboard was made from tropical rainforest trees. The material was supplied by a company that collected a quarter of a million dollars from Virginia taxpayers to expand a subsidiary here.  On a fact-finding trip with the International Reporting Project, Virginia Public Radio’s Sandy Hausman learned more about the situation and filed this report.


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Trading Tigers for Toilet Paper

Recently, the environmental group Greenpeace stepped up its campaign against rainforest destruction – claiming it had analyzed packaging used by toymaker Mattel and concluded the cardboard was made from tropical rainforest trees. The material was supplied by Asia Pulp and Paper, which last year located one of its subsidiaries in Virginia.  Governor Bob McDonnell had approved a $250,000 grant to help with the move.  On a fact-finding trip with the International Reporting Project, WVTF’s Sandy Hausman learned more about the situation and filed this report.


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Tobacco $ Projects

The Commission formed 12 years ago to help revitalize Virginia’s fiscally stressed tobacco regions has had a positive impact … but it has also funded projects that have not contributed to the regions’ economic renewal.  That’s according to the General Assembly’s watchdog agency … which also found that grants awarded by the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission were not always linked to economic need.  Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports from the State Capitol.


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E-Coli Update

While the recent unexpected E-coli-related death of a young Southwest Virginia child is alarming, the health officials want it understood the case was most likely not connected to the deadly outbreak in Europe. The Virginia Department of Health reports some illnesses and deaths caused by the bacteria are NOT that unusual in the Commonwealth.  But as Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, they also say it’s imperative for the public to know how to recognize and deal with E-coli-related problems.


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PolitiFact Virginia: Jobs & Health Care

Job creation and Medicare are current hot topics in the back and forth of national politics.  Both issues make an appearance this week, as Fred Echols talks with Warren Fiske of the Richmond Times Dispatch and PolitiFactVirginia.com


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