COVID-19 May Cause Hair Loss

Credit: CDC

People infected with coronavirus usually suffer no long-term effects, but a few months after recovery some patients report significant hair loss. 

Sandy Hausman spoke with a medical expert about that surprising consequence of COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Clouds Unemployment Data

Virginia’s unemployment rate is 5.2 percent. But what’s behind that number, and how does it vary throughout the commonwealth?

Michael Pope reports.

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Northam Says He’ll Sign Coal Tax Credit Legislation Without UVA Wise Amendment

Two of the largest tax incentives in Virginia are about to end, although members of the General Assembly and the governor are divided about what to do with the money.

Michael Pope reports.

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New Guidance for School ‘Recovery’ Issued

Recovering from the pandemic is going to need thought. Schools and learning are no different.

Jahd Khalil has this report on the Virginia Department of Education’s plan for regaining ground lost during the pandemic.

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Redistricting Commission Develops Outreach Plan

A hybrid commission of citizens and lawmakers are going to draw new voting lines this fall.

In his last dispatch, Jahd Khalil reported they were figuring how to conduct business.

He says in Monday’s meeting, the commissioners were sorting out how to do that transparently. 

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Can PRO Act Get Democratic Support in Senate?

Rep. Bobby Scott

Last month, the House of Representatives passed a bill introduced by Congressman Bobby Scott that hopes to remedy the problem of full-time workers being misclassified as independent contractors.

But now, as Michael Pope reports, the bill is languishing in the Senate.

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Candidate Endorsements Roll In, But Do They Count for Much?

As the spring campaign season heads into the final stretch, candidates are rolling out endorsements.

Michael Pope takes a look whether the endorsements mean anything.

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Va. News: Dark Skies and Disinformation

Virginia Tech researchers are looking for ways to counteract misinformation.  And there’s now another place in Virginia where stargazers can get a clear view of the night sky.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Northam Endorses McAuliffe in Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

McAuliffe’s official portrait from his last stint as Virginia’s Governor.

One of the biggest endorsements in Virginia politics came out Thursday. Governor Ralph Northam threw his support behind former Governor Terry McAuliffe who wants his old job back. Jahd Khalil reports on what it could mean.  

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Now That Virginia Has Legalized Marijuana, What’s Happens Next?

Credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Now that lawmakers have taken action to legalize marijuana, they still need to make decisions about how the new industry will be regulated. Michael Pope reports.

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Parole Board Controversy Will Get Independent Investigation

Legislators approved a budget amendment funding an independent investigation into the Office of the State Inspector General Wednesday, as Republican lawmakers said the investigation’s scope sidestepped critical issues. Jahd Khalil reports.

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General Assembly Passes Northam Amendment, Marijuana to Be Legalized July 1st

Credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

The Democrat-controlled Virginia General Assembly voted Wednesday to accept Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed changes to a marijuana legalization bill that will allow limited possession and cultivation of the drug beginning in July. Michael Pope has details.

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Five Democrats Seeking Nomination for Governor Debate at VSU

Credit: NPR

The Democratic primary for governor is only two months away, and the campaign is heating up. The five candidates seeking the party’s nomination have met for the first televised debate of the primary season. Michael Pope has details.

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A Look at the FOIA-Related Bills That Made Moves in the General Assembly This Year

The General Assembly is full of part-time lawmakers, people who bring their professional experience to the legislature. And that includes former journalists. Michael Pope has more.

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More Virginians Eligible for Child Care Subsidies

Virginia has temporarily expanded eligibility for child care subsidies to include those looking for work and families who make less than 85% of the average income in Virginia. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Lawmakers to Vote on Amendment Allowing Magistrates to Carry Firearms in State Buildings

This week, lawmakers will be considering an amendment to a bill they sent to Governor Ralph Northam earlier this year that bans guns at state buildings. The governor’s amendment creates an exemption for magistrates. Michael Pope reports.

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The State of COVID-19 Vaccinations in Virginia’s Prisons

It’s been more than a year since Virginia prisons locked down to try and stop the spread of COVID-19. The state has offered vaccine to every inmate, but restrictions are still in place and are unlikely to be lifted any time soon. In part one of a series, Sandy Hausman tells why.

Because the risk of a deadly COVID outbreak was especially high in state prisons, and because the disease could easily spread to surrounding communities through staff, inmates and employees were among the first Virginians to get vaccine. However, nearly a third of prisoners and more than 40% of staff have refused it.  That means significant restrictions remain in place, and frustration behind bars is building as Sandy Hausman reports in part two.

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Va. News: Two Virginia Students Make History

Credit: VPAP

A pair of students – one at the University of Virginia, the other at Virginia Military Institute – have made history at their schools this spring. More from Fred Echols.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VA News link.

Kasey Meredith (Credit: VMI)
Abel Liu (Credit: Business Wire)

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State Lawmakers to Consider Northam’s Facial Recognition Bill Amendment Next Week

Lawmakers will be reconsidering a bill on facial recognition technology when they meet next week. Michael Pope reports.

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A Silver Lining of Redistricting Census Delays

Population data from the 2020 Census was scheduled to be in the hands of Virginia’s Redistricting Commission in March. Now that it’s expected to arrive in August and September, the commissioners are taking the time to get acquainted with each other, and the processes of government business. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Va. Supreme Court Sides with Charlottesville in Confederate Monuments Case

The Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

The city of Charlottesville is free to remove Confederate monuments that were at the center of violent protests in 2017.

Virginia’s Supreme Court says a state law protecting war memorials does not apply. 

Sandy Hausman has details.

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Sunsetting Coal Tax Credits: Where Will That Money Go Now?

The coal industry in Virginia is shrinking, and coal tax credits are on their way out. Michael Pope has this report on where the money that once helped subsidize the industry will go next.

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Will Marijuana Amendment Make it Through State Senate?

(Credit: Va. Capitol Police twitter)

When lawmakers meet next Wednesday for a one day session, they’ll consider legislation to legalize marijuana this summer.

Michael Pope has this preview of what to expect.

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Officials to Provide Recommendations on Improving 911 Infrastructure

Credit: Wellness GM / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/130100316@N04/15728773073/

If you or someone you cared about faced an emergency, and you needed to call for help, how would you call 911? Chances are you’d reach for your cell phone. But, as Jahd Khalil reports, aging 911 infrastructure sometimes doesn’t match up with cell technology.

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Northam Amends Marijuana Legislation

(Credit: DEA.gov)

Governor Ralph Northam is amending a bill on marijuana legalization.

As Michael Pope reports, the governor’s amendment will make marijuana fully legal sooner than anticipated.

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Rural Drug Courts Struggle, Suceed During COVID-19

Drug court staff celebratw with Michael Hall. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Rural communities have struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their health care districts are underfunded and understaffed. Limited broadband and cell phone communication caused missed vaccine notifications.

And, it’s been especially hard on those enrolled in substance abuse treatment.

Pamela D’Angelo attended a recent Drug Treatment Court.

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Full Speed Ahead on Major Initiative to Cut Down on I-95 Congestion, Expand Amtrak Access

Governor Ralph Northam before Tuesday’s announcement (Credit: Michael Pope)

Railroads once dominated transportation in Virginia until the invention of the automobile. Now, rail is making a comeback. Michael Pope has the story.

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May Elections in Virginia Will Soon Be a Thing of the Past

This spring will see the last ever May elections for local government, as Michael Pope reports.

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Primary Races Fill Feeds With Digital Ads

The spring election season is here, and candidates are trying to think of new and creative ways of getting their message out during a pandemic.

Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Plastic Trash and Unexpected Treasure

A sketch in a simple frame at a Virginia thrift store turned out to be more significant – and more valuable – than it appeared to be. And Governor Ralph Northam has issued an order he hopes will reduce plastic pollution.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Marijuana Advocates Believe Northam has Heard Their Message to Speed Up Legalization

(Credit: DEA.gov)

Governor Ralph Northam is expected to announce his amendments to the marijuana bill on Monday.

And as Michael Pope reports he’s expected to move for legalization this year as opposed to waiting until 2024.

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Washington & Lee University Considers Dropping Lee From Name

Hundreds of students in favor of removing Robert E. Lee’s name participated in the walkout. (Credit: Randi B. Hagi)

Hundreds of students at Washington and Lee University in Lexington walked out of classes earlier this week. 

They wanted to show their support for dropping Lee from the college’s name.

Randi Hagi reports.

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Keeping Creditors From Your Stimulus Check

(Credit: David Seidel)

Stimulus money from the government is helping a lot of people stay afloat in a troubled economy.

But, Michael Pope reports, in Virginia, it doesn’t have to help creditors.

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Why are the Statewide Candidate Fields so Crowded?

Chances are you’re not running for statewide office. But the odds are probably more likely this spring than in the past.

Jahd Khalil spoke with a political analyst about why so many politicians think this is their year. 

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With COVID-19, Some Classes Move Outdoors and May Stay There

First grade teachers Marguerite Brunner reads to students at the Free Union Country School. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

For many children, COVID has meant educational setbacks as they struggled to absorb lessons online. 

But for others the pandemic has underscored the value of learning outside.  

Sandy Hausman reports on a school near Charlottesville where students spent 90-pecent of their time in fields, forests and tents.

The COVID crisis led many universities to move classes online, but at one state school in Virginia the choice was to move outside. 

Sandy Hausman reports on why one journalism professor is now pledging to keep his students away from the classroom even after the pandemic has passed.

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Bald Eagle Population Quadruples in a Decade

(Credit: Wildlife Center of Virginia)

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced Wednesday bald eagle populations have quadrupled in the lower 48 states since 2009.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Virginia Outlaws Death Penalty

Governor Ralph Northam signs legislation abolishing Virginia’s death penalty. (Credit: Governor’s Office Livestream)

Governor Ralph Northam has signed legislation ending the death penalty in Virginia.

As Michael Pope reports, that makes the commonwealth the first southern state to end capital punishment.

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Virginia’s “Wild West” Campaign Finances

(Credit Va Capitol Police Twitter Page; @VaCapitolPolice)

This was the year when state lawmakers approved some major changes including legalization of marijuana and ending the death penalty.  In other areas, however, reformers were disappointed.

The General Assembly rejected several bills designed to reform utility regulation, refused to remove special legal protections for police and retained the state’s right-to-work law. 

They also failed to approve campaign finance reform as Sandy Hausman reports.

During the last campaign cycle, corporations, political action committees, non-profits and individuals donated more than 124-million dollars to candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate.

Critics contend that warped the way lawmakers voted in 2021, but efforts to reform campaign finance in Richmond have repeatedly failed. 

In part two of her series, Sandy Hausman looks at why politicians are reluctant to limit donations and whether that might change next year.

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Some COVID-related Restrictions to be Eased April 1

Come April 1, there will be more space for you at entertainment venues.

Governor Ralph Northam announced he will ease restrictions at sporting events and entertainment venues.

Jahd Khalil has more on what that means. 

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Mild Flu Season Amid Pandemic

This winter’s flu season isn’t technically over, but usually by this time in the season the worst of influenza activity is behind Virginia.
(Credit: Virginia Department of Health)

With all the talk of respiratory disease for the last year, one bright spot was the flu.

There hasn’t been a single outbreak in Virginia during this flu season.

Jahd Khalil tells us why. 

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Study: Virginia Pandemic Job Losses Deeper than Previous Recessions

When the economy crashed last year, Virginia lost a significant number of jobs.

And as Michael Pope reports, the job market still hasn’t recovered.

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Va. News: Delivery Robots and Pandemic Participation

COVID-19 has changed the way people interact with local government. The result is more participation… And students at James Madison University are having their food orders delivered in whole new way.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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“Mixed Drinks To Go” Extended for Another Year

The pandemic has brought about many new trends, some of which may end up becoming permanent parts of the landscape.

Michael Pope reports on the future of the takeout cocktails.

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Advisory Board Makes Recommendations to Fight Racial Inequity in Schools

In September, the department of education asked a group of educators how they would fix racial inequities in Virginia’s education system. This week they delivered their recommendations.

Jahd Khalil has this report on the African American Superintendent’s Advisory Council.

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Work Group May Set Stage for More Conservation of Trees

Lawmakers considered a bill that would have given local governments more authority to require that developers preserve or replace tree canopy.

As Michael Pope reports, they rejected the idea for now. But they also set the stage for potential action next year.

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Universities, the Enslaved, and Repairing Damage

The only enslaved person known to have been directly purchased by the University of Virginia, Lewis Commodore, worked ringing the bell in the Rotunda.
(Credit University of Virginia)

Five public universities in Virginia can trace their roots to before the civil war– a period when slavery permeated American life and built wealth for white Americans.

And it also helped build those schools.

Jahd Khalil reports on efforts to repair a small amount of that damage.

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A Quirk of 2021: The Same Candidates in Two Primaries

This election cycle will include a strange quirk that most voters have never seen: A ballot that includes the same name for two different races.

Michael Pope explains why.

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How Ballot Order Can Impact Election Outcome

(Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

When voters head to the polls in June for the statewide Democratic primary, will the order of the candidates have any influence?

Michael Pope reports.

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State to Study Impact of Corporate Tax Avoidance

Is Virginia getting all the tax dollars coming to it?

Michael Pope reports on an effort to crack down on tax avoiding corporations. 

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20% of Virginia Students are at Fully “In-Person” School Divisions

Governor Northam reads to students on a visit to schools.
(Credit Office of Governor Ralph Northam)

In February, Governor Ralph Northam said all 132 school divisions should be offering in-person learning by March 15. So where are students learning?

Jahd Khalil breaks down the numbers.  

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