Virginia Lawmakers React to Trump’s Latest Budget Proposal

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Credit: AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite, File

President Trump unveiled his budget this week and it’s being met with mixed reactions from Virginia lawmakers. Matt Laslo has the story from the Capitol.

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Virginia Employment Numbers: Charlottesville Leads, Bristol Trails

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New numbers from the Bureau of Labor statistics show Virginia is steadily adding jobs, although some parts of the Commonwealth are growing much faster than others. Michael Pope is digging into the numbers.

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Reversing Centuries of Logging Damage at the Great Dismal Swamp

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Project Manager David Byrd and others participate in a ceremonial dropping of aluminum boards to slow the flow of water at one of the dozen water control devices in the swamp. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Previous presidents weren’t exactly environmentally friendly. Roosevelt’s Civil Conservation Corps dug ditches to drain pristine New England marshes so farmers could harvest salt marsh hay. Here in Virginia, George Washington drained the swamp, literally, to log the Great Dismal Swamp. Now, slowly, the damage is being undone with the help of Hurricane Sandy funding. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Accidental Shooting Prompts Questions Over Virginia’s Gun Laws

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Credit: MIKI Yoshihito / Flickr

The death of a 4-year old in Orange County is sparking a new discussion about gun safety. Michael Pope has the story.

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Health Insurance Providers Face Tough Decisions Amid ACA Uncertainties

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Credit: AP Photo / Andrew Harnik

Until this week, Virginia’s marketplace for subsidized health-insurance has been relatively healthy, with seven providers offering plans next year in all parts of the state. But as Michael Pope reports, that all could change in the next few weeks.

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Bay Advocates Fear Federal Cuts Could Jeopardize Progress

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The Church Creek restoration project slows pollution laden run-off heading to the South River. (Credit: Brendan Reynolds)

Chesapeake Bay advocates got a shock when President Donald Trump proposed zeroing EPA’s Chesapeake Bay program out of the federal budget. That shock eased some when Congress agreed to a stopgap spending measure that saved the money for now. But, that’s only good until September. Reporters from Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative decided to see what the loss of that money would mean in practical terms for the Bay clean-up. Joel McCord, from WYPR in Baltimore, starts with a look at stream restoration efforts.

Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative is funded with grant support from the Clayton Baker Trust, The Bancroft Foundation, Michael and Ann Hankin, The Jim and Patty Rouse Foundation, The Rob and Elizabeth Tyler Foundation, and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

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Fluvanna County Officials are Looking Into Adding to Confederate Monument, Not Removing

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Credit: Chris Dilworth / Flickr

Local governments across Virginia are reconsidering their Confederate memorials — trying to figure out if they should be removed or relocated. But, as Michael Pope reports, one county is engaged in a different kind of discussion — adding a new monument to an existing Confederate statue.

 

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New Video Looks to Help Stop Opioid Epidemic, But Is It Enough?

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Credit: Brandon Giesbrecht / Flickr

Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring is trying to help law enforcement officers across Virginia combat opioid abuse with a new video. But will it do any good? Michael Pope has details.

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Untold and Overlooked: Remembering the Stories of Jefferson’s Poplar Forest Slaves

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Joseph McGill rolls his suitcase out of the basement of Thomas Jefferson’s house at Poplar Forest, where dozens of slaves once lived. McGill has slept in about 95 former homes of enslaved African Americans since 2010 when he founded the Slave Dwelling Project. It has brought him to 19 states, including 7 in the north. (Credit: Jordy Yager)

This past weekend, Poplar Forest paid tribute to the lives and stories of the 95 African-Americans enslaved by Thomas Jefferson there, and the legacies they left behind. At the center of it all was Joseph McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project. Jordy Yager has this report.

 

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Va News Topics: Richmond Interest Questions, Montgomery County Biblical Decals

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

Richmond officials are questioning a state law that’s costing the city nearly a half-million dollars in interest on a business tax overpayment. And, the Sheriff of Montgomery County says he will remove a Biblical quote from his department’s patrol cars. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.

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Virginia Hospitals Prepared for Computer Virus

VHHAAfter a cyber attack paralyzed Britain’s public healthcare system, Virginia’s Hospital and Healthcare Association rushed to assure patients that their information is safe.  Sandy Hausman reports on nearly two dozen recommendations designed to prevent hackers from getting into medical information systems here.

 

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Virginia Gov. Proposes Cap and Trade Program, Praised for “Standing Up to Trump”

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National Governors Association Chairman Terry McAuliffe speaks during the opening session of the NGA’s Winter Meeting in Washington. (Credit: AP Photo / Cliff Owen)

As the federal government looks to roll back the Clean Power Plan, Virginia’s Governor is stepping in. Terry McAuliffe says the state will plow forward on its own to lower pollution, and combat climate change. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Early 20th Century African American Portraits Tell a Tale of Two Worlds

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Credit: Holley Graded School Museum and Art Gallery

15 years ago a stash of African American photographic portraits taken in the early 1900’s were discovered on a farm in the Northern Neck region of the Chesapeake Bay. And while they have not been identified, they provide clues to life in a rural, African American community 40 years after the Civil War. Now, there’s an effort to put them into a permanent exhibit. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Is the FBI Hacking Your Computer From A Server In Virginia?

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Credit: AP Photo / Cliff Owen, File

Is the FBI hacking your computer? That’s not an unreasonable question considering recent actions of bureau. Michael Pope has this look at how a server in Virginia was used to hack into hundreds of computers.

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Bill to Recognize Virginia Indian Tribes Passes House

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A measure to recognize Virginia’s six tribes from Republican Representative Rob Wittman, seen here at a committee hearing in 2011, passed the House this week. (Credit: AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

Virginia Indian tribes have been working to gain federal recognition since the 1970’s, so far unsuccessfully. But this week in Congress both the House and Senate took action that is giving supporters of the effort new hope. Michael Pope has the story.

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Historically Black Cemeteries to Receive State Funding

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East End Cemetery, a children’s cemetery and what may be a cemetery for black Confederate soldiers, will now receive state funding thanks to legislation signed into law by Governor Terry McAuliffe this week. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Every year since 1997, Virginia taxpayer money goes to repairing and restoring the graves of Confederate soldiers. Now, for the first time, the state has approved funding for history that has long been ignored: African-American cemeteries. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Democratic Candidates Debate in Norfolk

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Credit: AP / Steve Helber

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam and former congressman Tom Perriello met in Norfolk last night for another debate before the June primary. As Michael Pope reports, a number of topics ranging from President Donald Trump to marijuana decriminalization were discussed.

Northam and Perriello also discussed the War on Drugs, something they both agreed needs reform.

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Corey Stewart Denounces His Opponents, Not White Nationalist Rally

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Republican Gubernatorial hopeful, Corey Stewart (Credit: facebook.com/CoreyStewartVA)

This weekend an alt-right group, widely associated with white nationalism, marched to a Confederate statue in Charlottesville — carrying torches and chanting. The rally made national headlines and now Virginia’s candidates in the upcoming race for governor are weighing in. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Charlottesville City Council, Mayor Respond to Weekend Rally: “We Have Work to Do”

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Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy told attendees at Monday evening’s Council meeting that he was encouraged by Sunday’s rally in response to the white nationalist gathering the night before, but more is needed. (Credit: Jordy Yager)

Charlottesville City Council on Monday evening expressed outrage at a white nationalist rally over the weekend that received international attention. Jordy Yager reports.

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Here’s What Virginia’s Lawmakers are Saying About Trump’s Tax Plan

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In this Wednesday, April 26th 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks at the Interior Department in Washington. Among the likely winners in Trump’s tax-cut plan is Trump himself. (Credit: AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

President Trump has dropped an ambitious overhaul of the nation’s tax system. As correspondent Matt Laslo reports, Virgnia lawmakers are giving the plan mixed reviews.

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Counter Protest in Charlottesville to “Take Back Lee Park” Follows Alt-Right Rally

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Protester Chris O’Shea attempts to muffle the megaphone of Jason Kessler, a local supporter of keeping the Lee statue in place. Kessler was arrested for disorderly conduct later in the evening. (Credit: Jordy Yager)

Three people were arrested Sunday night after a mostly peaceful protest in downtown Charlottesville turned momentarily violent, spilling out into the streets. Jordy Yager has details.

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Va News Topics: Rural Internet Access, Gun Sales

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

High-speed internet has been slow to arrive for rural residents in most states and Virginia is no exception. And, gun sales were off sharply in the first three months of 2017. The change of administrations in Washington could be one reason for that. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. Fred Echols reports.

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Will Virginia’s Governor Take More Action to Protect Environment?

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Solar panels on a library in Arlington. Governor McAuliffe could take more steps to support renewable energy before he leaves office. (Credit: Arlington County Environmental Services)

As Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe faces his final few months in office, environmental groups are pushing him to take action on climate change. Michael Pope reports.

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A Look Into Virginia’s Candidate Selection Process

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Democrats and Republicans will head to the polls in June for a primary for statewide offices. But voters in 26 House of Delegates districts will also be selecting candidates. It’s part of a patchwork of different nominating methods, including conventions and caucuses. Michael Pope has this look into how this all came about.

 

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Dueling Tax Plans: GOP Candidates for Governor Lay Out Proposals

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Corey Stewart, Frank Wagner and Ed Gillespie (left to right) take the stage during a Republican debate. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

The three Republicans running for governor have each outlined a tax plan, and they couldn’t be more different. Michael Pope looks into the numbers.

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Report on Rockbridge Social Services Shows Negligence, No Charges

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Credit: Virginia Department of Social Services

A long awaited report looking into Rockbridge Area Department of Social Services was unsealed this month. In it, the Special Grand Jury concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges. Jessie Knadler reports.

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Democratic Candidates for Governor Talk College, Taxes and Trump

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Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber

The two Democrats running for governor are engaged in a tough battle for the nomination to take on Republicans. But during a televised debate this week, both were eager to take the fight to the Republicans.

One point of agreement between the two candidates is that students should receive two free years of community college. However, Tuesday night’s debate revealed sharp disagreement  over how to pay for it. Michael Pope reports.

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Archaeologists Warn Climate Change Is Eroding Historic Sites

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Pipe bowls and stems recovered by archaeologists in Virginia. (Credit: Archaeology Society of Virginia)

Climate change has taken a toll on Virginia coasts, but property owners aren’t the only ones losing ground.  Archaeologists say clues to Virginia’s early history are rapidly disappearing.  Sandy Hausman has details.

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Republicans Welcome Large Number of Democrat Challengers in House of Delegates Races

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Credit: NPR

Democrats are having a banner year fielding candidates in House of Delegates races, including many challenges to incumbent Republicans in deeply red parts parts of Virginia. Leaders in the GOP say bring it on. Michael Pope reports.

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Va News Topics: Kentucky Traffic Citations, Virginia Beach Black Neighborhood

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

A town mayor in Virginia coalfields caused a flap when he appeared to suggest people from nearby Kentucky were being targeted for traffic citations. And, a few dozen families in Virginia Beach are trying to hold on as their historically black neighborhood is slowly disappearing. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. More now from Fred Echols.

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Shenandoah Valley Program Aims to Share Life-Saving Overdose Drug

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Credit: Brandon Giesbrecht / Flickr

In response to Virginia’s opioid crisis, which the State Health Commissioner declared a “public health emergency” last year, counties across the Commonwealth are stepping up their efforts to wage war against fatal overdoses. A new program in Central Shenandoah makes it easier for locals to stop an overdose in its tracks. Jessie Knadler reports.

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Democratic Candidates for Governor Debate Taxes and Education in Roanoke

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Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber

The two Democrats running for governor met in Roanoke Thursday night for a debate. Michael Pope reports that the two have differing viewpoints on tax reform.

The pair also got in a back and forth over about expanded higher education and how to pay for it.

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Republican Candidate For Lieutenant Governor ​Launches TV Ad Featuring Terrorists

ReevesThe Republican primary for lieutenant governor is heating up, and one candidate is hitting the airwaves with a commercial aimed at frightening voters. Michael Pope reports.

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Sunscreen: Necessity or Nuisance?

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Credit: AP Photo / Chris Carlson

Beach weather approaches but don’t reach for that sunscreen just yet. An Amherst County scientist found that a common ingredient in sunscreen may be killing all kinds of marine life and poses a risk to humans as well. Jessie Knadler reports.

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Republicans Have Lowest Number of House Candidates in Years

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Credit: NPR

Voters are only weeks away from selecting General Assembly candidates in the June primaries. And Republicans are fielding the smallest number of candidates for House of Delegates races in more than a decade. Michael Pope has the story.

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Economic Development Effort in Southwest to Be Funded With Private Funds Rather Than State Money

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Lawmakers from the Southwest corner of Virginia are disappointed this week after Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have created a new economic development initiative to help out-of-work coal miners. Michael Pope has the story.

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Va News Topics: Bringing Back the Bay Scallop, Restoring Hampton Roads Oysters

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

The internet is playing a part in bringing back the Bay Scallop, a shellfish that had disappeared from Virginia while another preservation effort is restoring wild oysters in the inland waters of the Hampton Roads area. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. Fred Echols has details.

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White House Pushes Healthcare, and Some Virginia Lawmakers Change Their Tune

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Credit: AP / Andrew Harnik

Virginia Republicans are coming around on the new plan to revive the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. Matt Laslo has the details from Washington.

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Democratic Primary Reveals New Fault Line in Virginia Politics: Millennials Versus Establishment

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In this Jan. 5, 2017 file photo, a supporter takes a selfie photo with former Virginia congressman, Tom Perriello, after speaking during a rally in Charlottesville, Va., announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor of Virginia. (Credit: AP / Steve Helber)

The hotly contested Democratic primary for governor this June is exposing a fault line, a growing generational divide inside the party. Michael Pope talked with millennial Democrats to get their view of the primary, and what they want from politics.

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In Era of Uncertainty, Local Officials Opt for Conservative Budgets

Balancing The Account By HandAcross Virginia, city councils and boards of supervisors are voting on their budgets for the coming year. And, as Michael Pope reports, many are following the same script. Michael Pope reports.

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New Fund Looks to Help Stem Tide of Opioid Crisis

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Credit: Brandon Giesbrecht / Flickr

For the record number of people addicted to opiates in Virginia, help is on the way. Michael Pope reports.

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The Freedom Caucus: What Kind of Healthcare Would They Support?

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Representative Dave Brat, R-Va., a member of the House Freedom Caucus whose conservative members derailed the Republican health care bill, leaves a closed-door strategy session with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite)

Congress is back in session today following a two-week break. It was right before they left that lawmakers failed to pass a repeal-and-replace bill on healthcare. Three Virginia Republicans are members of the far-right leaning House Freedom Caucus, who opposed that bill. Now that President Trump looks likely to bring healthcare back up, Matt Laslo caught up with Virginia’s Republicans to ask them what kind of legislation they could support.

 

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Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates Face Tough Opponents: Themselves

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Credit: AP / Steve Helber

The two candidates in the hotly contested Democratic primary for governor are not just engaged in a battle with each other. They’re also waging a battle against themselves. Michael Pope has the story.

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Will Virginia Soon Be the Capital of Driverless Cars?

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A Google self-driving vehicle at Google’s I/O conference in Mountain View, California. Governor Terry McAuliffe wants to make the Commonwealth a central figure in getting more automated vehicles on the road. (Credit: AP / Eric Risberg, File)

Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe wants to make Virginia the capital of automated vehicles. He says it could help reduce accidents, and create a more efficient way to use Virginia’s highways and interstates. But what would it take? Michael Pope has more.

 

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Va News Topics: Covered Bridge Debate, Crab Harvester Shortage

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

The community of Pound in the Virginia coalfields wants an old-fashioned covered bridge downtown to attract more tourists, but the Virginia Department of Transportation is taking a dim view of that idea. And, one of the few remaining crab harvesters in Virginia says after some lean years there are now plenty of crabs to be caught in the Chesapeake Bay but there may not be enough people to harvest them. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. More now from Fred Echols.

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How Many Options Will Virginians Have for ACA Health Insurance Providers?

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Credit: Andrew Harnik / AP

Last month, Republicans predicted the Affordable Care Act was on the verge of collapse, but now insurance companies are starting to make plans for the coming year. And so far, Virginia’s marketplace for subsidized health insurance remains strong. Michael Pope has the story.

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State Senator Set to Challenge Comstock in Virginia’s 10th District

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State Senator Jennifer Wexton, D-Loudoun, is set to challenge Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock in what should be a hotly contested match-up that garners national attention. (Credit: Steve Helber / AP)

The next congressional election may be a year and a half away, but now is the time when candidates are throwing their hats into the ring. One particular announcement this week is already scrambling the 2018 race. Michael Pope reports.

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Democrat Scores Upset in Prince William County

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Democrat Jackie Smith, center, faced difficult odds, but pulled off an upset to take the Prince William County Clerk of Court seat. (Credit: smithforclerk.com)

Although many people were focused on the special election in Georgia this week, Virginia ALSO had a special election. And it’s one that is energizing Democrats. Michael Pope has the story.

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Fundraising Numbers Paint a Competitive Picture of Virginia’s Gubernatorial Race

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Credit: NPR

New fundraising numbers in the race for governor show a hotly competitive race with some candidates raising large amounts of campaign cash. Reporter Michael Pope is digging into the numbers.

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Not All GOP Members Deny Climate Change. But They’re Still the Minority

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Congressman Scott Taylor, R-Virginia Beach, says that rising sea levels are having an impact in his district, and he worries what President Trump’s proposed cuts to NOAA may mean for the area. (Credit: Steve Helber / AP)

Some Virginia Republicans are calling attention to sea level rise because it’s impacting their coastal districts. Matt Laslo reports they’re in the minority in their party.

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