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Posted in Virginia's News on October 5, 2015
Arlington recently opened a state-of-the-art homeless shelter. The facility occupies two floors of a county-owned building next to the courthouse. As Armando Trull with WAMU reports, the shelter reflects a compromise between Arlington’s goal to end homelessness and nearby property owners’ concerns about quality of life.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on October 5, 2015
Virginia has begun distributing the funds from a $17.5 million federal grant to expand and enhance the Commonwealth’s early childhood education efforts. As Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, Governor McAuliffe toured one of the schools that received money for its program and explained that the funds will be awarded to 11 high-need school divisions.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on October 5, 2015
Amherst County supervisors have some decisions to make about allowing gunfire in residential neighborhoods…and a futuristic solution is being offered to ease highway congestion in traffic-choked Arlington. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. More on that from Fred Echols.
Posted in Virginia's News on September 30, 2015
It’s rare these days for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to agree on anything, so it may come as a surprise to learn there is bi-partisan support for a bill to reclassify marijuana. Matt Laslo explains why a Virginia Republican is leading that effort.
Attorney General Mark Herring has launched a new initiative to train law enforcement officers in “impartial policing” and how to deescalate dangerous situations. The idea was prompted by recent incidents of citizen fatalities and neighborhood protests against police across the U.S. And as Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, the program also aims to enhance cooperation between police and citizens —and help ensure that communities have trust and confidence that they’re being treated fairly.
A new, permanent panel formed to advise state and local officials about their conflict-of-interest questions and whether gifts of travel, lodging, or meals are permissible has held its inaugural meeting.
The Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council is composed of state lawmakers, former judges, and citizens appointed by the House, Senate, and Governor McAuliffe. But, as Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, developing the practical rules for carrying out the updated state ethics laws is still a work in progress.
Posted in Virginia's News on September 29, 2015
Four Virginia colleges have hopped on board to try to streamline the college admissions process. University of Virginia, James Madison University, Virginia Tech and William & Mary will provide a new set of online application tools to high school students.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on September 28, 2015
A Northern Virginia lingerie shop has upset some residents who don’t believe its window displays make a proper impression….and bicycle riders will no longer get a free pass when they run stop signs in one Virginia city. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link at vpap.org.
Posted in Virginia's News on September 28, 2015
This morning Governor McAuliffe, his chief of Environmental Quality, and the Secretary of Natural Resources traveled from Richmond to the northern tip of Virginia’s Eastern Shore to personally deliver a very special document, the first of its kind in the state. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on September 28, 2015
The world road biking championships wrapped up in Richmond this weekend… Initial fears about slow-to-appear crowds disappeared by the time the largest race happened Sunday. Preliminary numbers show more than 600-thousand spectators showed up for the event. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on September 26, 2015
State officials are looking for ways to sustain a program aimed at improving the quality of life for Virginians who suffer from chronic diseases, including COPD, hypertension, and diabetes. The state had funded this Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Program with a federal grant since 2010, but was recently turned down for another grant. And as Tommie McNeil reports, without program funding, costs associated with these diseases could rise significantly.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on September 24, 2015
A recent state report revealed that more than 23-hundred Personal Evidence Recovery Kits in police departments throughout Virginia have not been tested. The evidence could potentially identify and lead to the prosecution of sex offenders. But as Tommie McNeil reports, a task force is now determining why these kits were not tested and whether they should be-along with guidance on how to proceed.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on September 22, 2015
State spending on public education in Virginia has declined by 7 percent in the last decade… according to a new report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. When adjusted for inflation, spending fell from $10,927 per pupil in 2005 to $10,148 last year. But as Anne Marie Morgan reports, the state’s school divisions say their resources were stretched—while under a mandate to increase student achievement.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on September 21, 2015
While millions of TV viewers watch and thousands converge on the capital city of Richmond for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, right in the heart of the area is a museum that could blunt some of the negative publicity the city received over its Confederate monuments. As Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, the Valentine Museum gives visitors an opportunity to experience history from the local perspective—including how bicycles and their related cultures changed over the centuries.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on September 21, 2015
Christiansburg High School has handed out suspensions to students who challenged a policy prohibiting the confederate flag on school grounds…and former Virginia Lieutenant Governor turned Congressman Don Beyer wants 16-year-olds to have the right to pre-register to vote. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. Fred Echols reports.
Posted in Virginia's News on September 15, 2015
More than 500 people in Southside Virginia and northern North Carolina will be losing their jobs next September when MillerCoors Brewing shuts down beer production in Eden, North Carolina. In an announcement the company blamed loss of sales to craft brewers among other factors. Fred Echols reports.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on September 14, 2015
The courts will soon decide whether a Virginia law that prohibits objects that might block a driver’s view of the road to be attached to rear view mirrors is constitutional…..and paramedics in Alexandria are unhappy at being asked to cross train as firefighters. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. More now from Fred Echols.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on September 11, 2015
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is announcing a new effort to crack down on predatory lending. But, as Michael Pope tells us, his office is limited by existing law. Car-title lenders are allowed to charge interest rates that are higher than 200%.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on September 10, 2015
Have you ever questioned what qualifies a person to be selected as a judge who’s responsible for many life-altering decisions? Ever wondered how detailed and transparent the vetting process is—and whether the jurist is invested in the overall well-being of the community which he or she serves? A new proposal by a gubernatorial commission would guide how state lawmakers go about making their selections, while getting input from their local communities. Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil explains.
Posted in Virginia's News on September 8, 2015
Lawmakers were away from Washington all of August, but there was little reason for them to take that extended vacation. Matt Laslo reports they only have until the end of September to fund the government or else the government will shut down.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on September 8, 2015
Arlington County has been a magnet for millennials. But now they’re starting families and that makes Arlington less attractive for many of them…and Virginia Commonwealth University’s new policy on student-faculty romance is being questioned by some in the university community. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VA News link on vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.
Posted in Virginia's News on August 31, 2015
Virginia’s State Fair is less than a month away, and organizers are gearing up to host nearly a quarter of a million people at the Meadow Event Park near Richmond. Sandy Hausman has that story.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 31, 2015
Flanked by former U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, his in-law–former Lieutenant Governor John Hager–and surrounded by veterans, GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush made his case as to why he thinks Donald Trump’s momentum in the polls will fizzle out while his own stock will rise. And as Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, Bush said he will do so by keeping the veteran-friendly Commonwealth in his campaign crosshairs.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on August 31, 2015
New regulations covering information distributed at rest stops in Virginia may land the state in court…and GPS tracking of school buses has come to the Richmond area. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.
Posted in Virginia's News on August 25, 2015
Two Virginia Republican in Congress are members of a new group called the Freedom Caucus. Matt Laslo explains the conservative hardliners are proving to be thorns in the sides of Republican Party leaders in Washington.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 24, 2015
A Virginia lawmaker believes a simple ride in a nontraditional taxi could put your personal information in jeopardy. Now that delegate is pushing for legislation to further limit the information that companies such as Uber and Lyft can collect and store about passengers.
Posted in Virginia's News on August 24, 2015
Shelter is a big problem for many people in Virginia. Up to 40,000 may be homeless for some period of time during any given year, with many cycling through housing and back to the streets. Now, a Central Virginia group is using art and interior design to attack the problem. From Charlottesville, Emily Richardson-Lorente reports.
Posted in Virginia's News on August 21, 2015
When eleven professional writers from Smith Mountain Lake decided they wanted to do something out of the ordinary they considered their options and finally settled on trying to produce the worst novel ever written. With the work now complete they believe they may have attained their goal. Fred Echols reports.
Posted in Virginia's News on August 20, 2015
Central Virginia boasts plenty of great places for concerts, but there’s one venue that offers a unique experience for the audience, and the bands that play there. Emily Richardson-Lorente checked it out.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 20, 2015
While his wife is still in the midst of the appeals process for her federal corruption convictions, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is nearing the end of his fight to beat the convictions against him. The 4th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals has denied his request to remain free as he pursues an appeal to the nation’s highest court. And as Tommie McNeil reports, only one option remains.
The Chief Justice handles emergency applications for the 4th Circuit. In their filing, McDonnell’s attorneys argue that by the time the Supreme Court hears the case and hands down a ruling that could potentially reverse the convictions, McDonnell could have finished serving his entire sentence.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 19, 2015
“All is not well—Rosy Surplus Numbers Don’t Erase Damage from Budget Cuts.” That’s the title of the latest report by the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis. And the organization’s president says as candidates campaign for election to the entire General Assembly this November, it’s imperative that voters have a conversation with them about the state’s long-term budget problems. More from Tommie McNeil.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 18, 2015
Members of the Freedom of Information Advisory Council are conducting a meticulous review of the MANY exemptions to Virginia’s open-government laws. The exemptions prevent the public from having access to certain government records and meetings—usually on both the state and local levels. And as Anne Marie Morgan reports, even after an exhaustive study, a special subcommittee is not likely to eliminate very many of them.
Posted in Virginia's News on August 18, 2015
The majority of Virginia Republicans in Congress are backing an effort they say will protect religious institutions and businesses from having to abide by the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling. Matt Laslo reports that opponents of the effort say the bill will legalize discrimination.
Posted in Virginia's News on August 17, 2015
As kids head back to school, parents, teachers and administrators are gearing up for a fight in Richmond – hoping to win greater state support for public education. They say it’s time to restore cuts made during the recession and to raise pay for new teachers as thousands prepare to retire. Sandy Hausman has that story.
Governor McAuliffe called the General Assembly into special session to redraw the Commonwealth’s congressional district boundaries, but Republican lawmakers first used the opportunity to try to advance their own selection to the state Supreme Court. As Anne Marie Morgan reports, the day’s sessions turned into a tug-of-war between supporters of McAuliffe’s interim nominee, Justice Jane Marum Roush, and advocates of the GOP’s choice, state Court of Appeals Judge Rossie Alston.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on August 17, 2015
Virginia’s growing craft beer culture is running into complications as the state tries to decide how to regulate the brewers…and Petersburg’s sheriff is facing a lawsuit from a surprising source, the City of Petersburg. Those stories have been among the most read over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews on vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.
Across the nation crowdfunding is enabling entrepreneurs and dreamers to bring their ideas to fruition by allowing start-ups to get help from other individuals and businesses. And as of July 31st, Virginia has been allowing crowdfunding offerings-but in order to protect investors, the State Corporation Commission is implementing new regulations. More from Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil.
Posted in Virginia's News on August 14, 2015
Four engineers from Virginia Tech have beat 72 other teams to win a place in the federal government’s Wave Energy competition. Eric Paterson , George Hagerman, Mike Philen and Heng Xiao now have the chance to win $2 million to build their design which would turn wave power into electricity. Another Virginia team chose not to enter the contest. Instead, they’re hoping to leapfrog the competition by installing a successful commercial wave farm in Europe. Sandy Hausman has that story.
Sandy Hausman reported from Europe with the support of an Energy and Climate Media Fellowship from the Heinrich Böll (HINE-rick BOWL) Foundation.”
Conditions off the coast of Virginia are ideal for construction of offshore wind turbines, but scientists see a limited role for marine energy – power generated from waves, currents and tides. That’s because prevailing winds on the planet blow from west to east, creating bigger waves on the west coast of continents. Still there is some potential here, and experts say turbines can likely be placed off our shores with minimal risk to wildlife. Sandy Hausman has details.
Sandy Hausman reported from Europe with the support of an Energy and Climate Media Fellowship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
Hungry students will find something new at Virginia Commonwealth University. They can now pay for their meals with their eyes. Sandy Hausman reports on new technology at one campus cafeteria.
Posted in Virginia's News on August 12, 2015
This week, we’re reporting on marine energy – power generated from waves, currents and tides. As a state with 112 miles of coastline, Virginia should be a prime candidate for development of this resource, but so far there’s no sign of an industry. To understand why, reporter Sandy Hausman traveled to Scotland – ground zero for efforts to exploit marine energy in Europe.
Sandy Hausman reported from Europe with the support of an Energy and Climate Media Fellowship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
Posted in Virginia's News on August 10, 2015
With so much coastal property, this state could be harvesting the energy of waves, currents and tides to power homes and offices, factories and electric cars. But Virginia is far from the day when that might happen. In a week-long series, Sandy Hausman travels across the continent and the Atlantic to find out why.
Sandy Hausman reported from Europe with the support of an Energy and Climate Media Fellowship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation.”
Posted in Virginia's News on August 7, 2015
President Obama recently unveiled a new rule to combat climate change by forcing state’s like Virginia to cut their carbon pollution. But this summer the Supreme Court shot down a new EPA rule aimed at limiting mercury pollution, which, as Matt Laslo reports, has conservatives calling for the new rule to be halted.
Those who say Virginia—and Richmond—are still fighting the Civil War need only look at current state policy changes and debates over the Confederate flag and monuments to back up their claims.
And now while the home of the Confederacy and former slave-trading hub will soon be home to one of the most watched sporting events in the world, some say that as the country discusses racial diversity and equality, the event’s organizers will be promoting and embracing the ugliest chapter in American history. Tommie McNeil has this report.
(July 17, 2015)
It’s been more than 20 years since construction workers at Virginia Commonwealth University unearthed the remains of about fifty people in an old well near the Medical College of Virginia. Historians believe they were the bones of former slaves, whose bodies were stolen from local cemeteries for dissection by medical students. VCU promptly sent the remains to the Smithsonian for storage, but they may soon be coming back to Richmond as Sandy Hausman reports.
(July 16, 2015)
In addition to museums, battlegrounds and presidential homes, tourists find history at dozens of plantations that are open to the public. Often they learn about the big, elegant homes at the heart of those properties – about the people who lived there, but how do mannerly tour guides introduce the harsh subject of slavery? That’s what a team from the University of Mary Washington hopes to learn as Sandy Hausman reports. (May 20, 2015)
On a warm spring night, more than 150 people gathered in Shockoe Bottom, a name taken from the Native American word for a site in Richmond. This part of town, bounded by I-95 and bisected by railroad lines, was central to a city that prospered from the slave trade. Sandy Hausman reports. (May 6,2014)
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on July 28, 2015
The panel created by Governor McAuliffe to recommend changes to state ethics laws is tackling an issue that’s not typically associated with conflicts of interest: the way that Virginia chooses judges. The Governor’s Commission on Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government says the quality of the state’s judiciary overall is excellent. But as Anne Marie Morgan reports, it also says the process of selecting judges is politicized and ineffective far too often.
Two Topics from VA News: Virginia Wineries, Virginia’s Obsolete Courthouses Present Preservation Issues
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on July 27, 2015
As more wineries are opening in Virginia grape production in the state is not keeping pace…and with many Commonwealth counties looking to replace obsolete courthouses issues of historic preservation may create complications. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on www.vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.
Posted in Virginia's News on July 27, 2015
In Virginia, underage sex trafficking is real. That’s why the Commonwealth has created new and stronger laws and methods of saving the children being victimized. With these efforts comes the bitter-sweet challenge of the rescue of child and then the recovery. Tab O’Neal reports.