McAuliffe Pushes Forward with Rights Restoration Despite Supreme Court Ruling

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The Virginia Supreme Court may have overturned Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s executive order restoring voting rights to 200,000 former felons. But as Michael Pope reports, that’s not stopping him from moving forward with the plan.

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The Legacy of Anne Holton, Former Secretary of Education and Potential Future Second Lady

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Hillary Clinton’s selection of Tim Kaine includes more than the junior senator from Virginia. It also includes the senator’s wife, who was until recently the Secretary of Education — the only person to ever grow up in the Executive Mansion and then return as an adult. Michael Pope has this profile of the woman who may be the next Second Lady.

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Minnesota Senator Reflects on Tim Kaine’s Newfound Celebrity Status

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Virginia’s junior senator made such a splash at Wednesday’s convention of Democrats that other states are laying claim to him and offering advice to Virginia’s senior senator. Sandy Hausman reports.

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Get to Know the Virginia Delegation at the DNC

Democratic Party logoVirginia Delegates to the Democratic national Convention are a diverse group with diverse backgrounds. Matt Laslo is in Philadelphia and sent along this audio postcard so you could get to know some of the delegates and the reason they’re in Philadelphia this week.

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An Audio Postcard from the Democratic National Convention: Thoughts on Tim Kaine

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While most Virginia Democrats are ecstatic that Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has been tapped to be Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential nominee, many Bernie Sanders supporters take the pick of a pragmatic moderate as a slap in the face. Correspondent Matt Laslo is at the DNC in Philadelphia and sent us this audio postcard.

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Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Comments Spark Controversy Over Trans Pacific Trade Agreement

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Virginia’s governor ignited a small firestorm at the Democratic National Convention when he told a reporter that Hillary Clinton would support the Trans Pacific Trade agreement or TPP. Terry McAuliffe said Clinton would insist on some changes to address the concerns of supporters of Bernie Sanders, but she had earlier said she’d oppose the deal. Sandy Hausman reports on what came next.

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Tim Kaine’s Position on Open Government

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Now that Senator Tim Kaine has joined the presidential ticket, his long public career is receiving new scrutiny. One aspect of that career is Kaine’s record on open government. Michael Pope has the story.

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A Glimpse Into Tim Kaine’s Political Past

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This week, Democrats will be introduced to Senator Tim Kaine at the convention in Philadelphia. But Kaine has a long history here in Virginia dating back to his days as a famous trial lawyer in Richmond. Michael Pope has this look at Kaine’s rise to the national party ticket. Michael Pope has this look at Kaine’s rise to the national party ticket.

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Conflict Between Both Sides of the Trump Debate Present at Hotel Roanoke Town Hall

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Donald Trump drew supporters and protesters Roanoke on Monday. And in at least one case, a supporter protested the protesters. Tim Thornton reports.

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Political Campaign Season Provides Unique Business Opportunity

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For some people, campaign hats, buttons and t-shirts are ways to show they’re involved in the political system. For some, it’s about loyalty to a party or a candidate, the same way some people might wear a Virginia Tech shirt or a University of Virginia hat to support their favorite university. For some people, as Tim Thornton reports, campaign swag has more to do with income than ideology.

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Anti-Trump Protesters Make Presence Known at Hotel Roanoke Town Hall

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Donald Trump supporters lined up in the heat for hours so they could see and hear their candidate speak at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center on Monday. But as Tim Thornton reports, not everyone in Roanoke was glad to see the Republican nominee.

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Trump and Pence Draw Huge Crowds to Hotel Roanoke

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Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence attracted an overflow crowd to the Hotel Roanoke and Convention Center Monday. As Tim Thornton reports, Trump supporters had a number of reasons to be there.

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Virginians Front-and-Center at the Democratic National Convention

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Virginia is playing a big role in this year’s Democratic National Convention, which got underway Monday in Philadelphia. Sandy Hausman has the story.

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Tangier Island Becomes 8th Region on the Virginia Oyster Trail

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Last week Virginia added a few more miles and an eighth oyster flavor to its 250 mile Oyster Trail. The latest region includes oysters grown out in the waters that surround Tangier Island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Virginia Democrats Hopeful About Vice Presidential Nominee Tim Kaine

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Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine is attracting a lot of attention after being tapped as the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, but there’s still tension in the party. Matt Laslo reports from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

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Va News Topics: School for Disruptive Students, Freedom of Information Laws

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The Richmond Board of Education has contracted with a private company to manage a school for disruptive students, and Loudon County supervisors have sparked a discussion about freedom of information laws by communicating off the record during a public meeting. 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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An Audio Postcard from the Republican National Convention, Part Two

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Our Congressional reporter Matt Laslo has spent the week in Cleveland with Virginia’s delegates to the Republican National Convention. He sent us this audio postcard from Ohio.

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Federal Lawsuit Reveals Dark Underworld of Payday Loans in Virginia

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A class-action federal lawsuit against a payday lender may break new legal ground next month. That’s when a Virginia judge could deliver a ruling that will absolve hundreds of people from loans worth about a half a million dollars. Michael Pope has the story as part of his ongoing investigation into predatory lending.

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An Audio Postcard from the Republican National Convention

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Virginia’s delegation at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week has a range of diverse backgrounds, but they’re all diehard conservatives who are active in politics. VPR congressional reporter Matt Laslo is in Cleveland and sent us this audio postcard from some of our delegates.

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Fundraising for Gubernatorial Campaign Getting Head Start One Year Out

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Most of the delegates to the Republican National Convention are focused on the election this year. But delegates from Virginia are also in Cleveland setting the stage for next year. And, as Michael Pope reports, the fundraising efforts for the next campaign for governor are already heating up.

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NOAA’s Newest Smart Buoy Deployed in the York River

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Scientists, anglers, weather watchers and boaters just got a boost yesterday when a NOAA Chesapeake Bay smart buoy was deployed at the mouth of the York River. Pamela D’Angelo has the story.

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Ex-Felons Pin Voting Hopes on VA Supreme Court

 

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Virginia’s Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether Governor Terry McAuliffe acted constitutionally when he restored voting rights for more than 200,000 ex-felons who had served their time in prison and on parole. Sandy Hausman talked to one man who is hoping the court backs McAuliffe.

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Summering in Cleveland or Philly? Delegates Say ‘Yes, Please!’

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Cleveland and Philadelphia don’t make the list of America’s top 25 vacation destinations, but this month more than 7,000 people are excited to be going there – delighted by the idea of spending hours in a convention center talking politics. Sandy Hausman spoke with some of those representing Virginia at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

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Constitutionality of Felon Rights Restoration Questioned in Virginia Supreme Court Hearing

Virginia_flag_mapMembers of the Virginia Supreme Court are considering a challenge to Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s executive order restoring voting rights to more than two hundred thousand former felons. Michael Pope is at the Supreme Court with the latest.

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Pence’s Support of Medicaid Raises Questions About Place on Conservative Ticket

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Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate is causing some reverberations here in Virginia on an issue that’s near and dear to Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe — expanding Medicaid to 400,000 people who live in poverty or with disabilities. Michael Pope reports.

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Divisiveness Over Trump Means No-Shows for Republican National Convention

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The majority of Virginia Republican members of Congress are skipping their party’s convention in Cleveland this week. Matt Laslo has the details on a party that remains divided over Donald Trump.

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Va News Topics: Sea Traffic Regulation, Democratic Convention Food Stop

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With the waters off the Virginia coast getting more crowded every year there’s an effort under way to develop some rules of the road for seagoing traffic, and the food that delegates to the Democratic convention will be eating is stopping for a check-up in Virginia on its way to Philadelphia. 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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Concerns about Airbnb Could Lead to Stronger Regulations

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New technology is disrupting all kinds of industries, everything from newspapers and taxis to music and now hotels. The latest technology allows homeowners to rent out rooms of their house, or sometimes the entire house. That’s causing alarm among lawmakers, who are now engaged in an effort to craft new kinds of regulations. Michael Pope reports.

 

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McAuliffe Felon Voting Decision to be Challenged in Court

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In anticipation of a court case filed by Virginia Republicans and lawyers challenging  Governor Terry McAuliffe’s recent executive action on the restoration of voting rights for convicted felons, Mallory Noe-Payne reports more about that case and explains why some say the Governor’s order goes too far.

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Official Platform Goal for Republicans Before National Convention

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Even before Donald Trump got in hot water for his remarks about a Mexican American judge and implicating President Obama in the Orlando attack, House Republicans were planning to unveil their own agenda this summer. Matt Laslo reports from Washington.

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New Bill Would Prohibit Flying of Confederate Flag over Confederate Cemeteries

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The debate over the Confederate flag is still raging in Washington, where elected officials are clashing over where and when it’s appropriate to display the Confederate flag. Michael Pope reports.

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Not All Felons Want to Vote: A Community Worn Down by Politics

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Anthony Crawford, a resident of Richmond’s Gilpin Court, shows off his voter registration card. Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / WVTF

Virginia’s Governor made national headlines in April, when he restored voting rights to more than 200,000 ex-felons. But the backlash was quick and fierce. Republicans accused the Governor of misusing his power to sway presidential politics. Reports revealed rapists and murderers still in prison, whose rights had been restored, accidentally.

 

Since then, the debate has ramped up. But stuck in the middle are thousands of Virginians — not all of whom are excited to vote. Mallory Noe-Payne has this story, of a community worn down by politics.

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Airbnb Stirs Debate Amongst Virginia Lawmakers

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The new gig economy is already disrupting businesses across Virginia, although the future of how they will be regulated is still an open question. That’s why state leaders from across the commonwealth will convene in Richmond later this week to hammer out the details about the future of short-term property rentals through Airbnb. Michael Pope has the story.

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Virginia Law Binding Delegates to Presidential Nominee Tossed

Virginia_flag_mapAs Republicans prepare to gather in Cleveland for their convention, a federal lawsuit in Virginia is giving new life to the Never Trump movement. But, as Michael Pope reports, the win in court may be more of a symbolic victory.

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Va News Topics: Virginia Trump Products, Water Park Uncertainties

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Among the many products that bear the Trump name, one of the most successful is made in Virginia…and public concerns about revenues and land use are raising questions about the future of a popular Northern Virginia water park. 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 from Fred Echols.

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Republican Delegate Files Anti-Trump Lawsuit Ahead of Convention

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As Republicans prepare to gather in Cleveland for their convention, a legal challenge in Virginia threatens to upend the process. The lawsuit comes from a Northern Virginia supporter of Ted Cruz who says he should be able to vote his conscience. Michael Pope reports.

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Inside the Wild West of Debt Settlement Companies

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For people down on their luck and behind on their bills, there seems to be no end of businesses looking to turn a buck. That often means people are scammed out of money — just when they need help the most. Michael Pope has the story.

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New Law to Govern Builders’ Gifts to Communities

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Life is about to get even more complicated for community planners dealing with development.  In the past, they could ask builders to help pay for almost any civic improvement.  Now, however, state law is about to change as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Virginia Home to Some of the Youngest Communities in the Nation

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Virginia may be one of the oldest states. And its history may stretch back into the past more than other states. But new numbers from the federal government are revealing a surprising twist about Virginia.

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‘It Really Hurts When You Know How Hard You’re Working’: Veteran Teacher Reflects on Career

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More than 8,000 teachers and administrators are currently gathered in the country’s capital for the National Education Association‘s annual conference. Among them is Meg Gruber, president of Virginia’s Education Association.

Gruber is the outgoing president of the VEA, and a veteran teacher of more than 30 years. Before she headed up to D.C., Gruber sat down with reporter Mallory Noe-Payne to talk about how education, at its heart, is  a local issue not a national one.

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Legislators Working to Challenge Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws

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Police agencies in Virginia get most of their money from local governments. But in recent years, they’ve been increasingly tapping another source of cash – seizing it directly from people they suspect of wrongdoing. The program, known as civil asset forfeiture, has become increasingly controversial in recent years. And now, efforts are moving forward at the state and national level to reform the program. Michael Pope reports.

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Senator Tim Kaine Leads Virginia Awareness Campaign for Zika Virus

 

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Virginia Senator Tim Kaine met today with doctors from VCU and the Red Cross, along with state health officials, to gather information and raise awareness about the health threat posed by the Zika virus. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Northern Virginia Poised to Become Leader in Driverless Cars

driverlessIt’s been more than a century since horseless carriages started revolutionizing transportation across America. Now driverless cars are about to reshape the American landscape, and a new report from George Mason University says Virginia is poised to become a leader in the industry. Michael Pope has the story.

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Virginia Team Finds Possible Connection between Plant Fossils and Ancient Dragon Lore

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According to research coordinated by a pair of Roanoke College professors, fossils common to coal seams may be responsible for dragon tales all around the world. Tim Thornton has more in this report.

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VaNews Topics: Signs and Speech, Town Services

VPAPnewA Supreme Court ruling on free speech is forcing some localities to change how they regulate public signs, and another city Virginia says it may have to become a town because it can’t afford the cost of providing services for its residents. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.

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McDonnell Case Ruling: Reverberations in Washington

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The reverberations of the Supreme Court throwing out the conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is being felt across the nation.  Matt Laslo has the story from the Capitol.

 

 

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Grants Will Help Preserve Richmond Cemeteries

cemetery_photo_01Some listeners may remember that a few months ago, we brought you the story of long-lost African-American cemeteries throughout the state and a couple in Richmond. Now, some of those cemeteries  are getting some much needed attention. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

 

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State Trooper Sends Support Home to West Virginia

 

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Federal officials are stepping in to aid the thousands without power, homes, or basic needs following devastating flooding in West Virginia last week. But one Virginian is stepping up and doing what she can to help those recovering, loading up a tractor trailer with supplies, and heading home. Mallory Noe-Payne has her story.

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Gov. McAuliffe’s Latest Executive Order is a Product of Partisan Gridlock

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This week, Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe issued yet another executive order, this time to bypass the General Assembly and take a look at ways the commonwealth can respond to climate change. It’s the latest example of a governor who has increasingly taken to using executive power to accomplish his agenda, a trend that’s causing alarm among Republican leaders in the General Assembly. Michael Pope has the story.

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Virginia Democrats Face Uphill Battle for Gun Control

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Democrats are hoping to make gun-control a central plank in this year’s elections, but Virginia Republicans say it’s a bad idea. Matt Laslo has the details from the Capitol.

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