One Lawmaker’s Plan to Regulate Online Lending

 

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Delegate Mark Levine of Alexandria
(Credit markfordelegate.com)

With the rise of online lenders, consumers in Virginia can be hit with loans that have interest rates far beyond any brick-and-mortar location. Now one lawmaker from Northern Virginia is offering a solution, although consumer advocates say the bill might cause more problems than it solves. Michael Pope has the story.

 

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Governor Kicks Off ‘Virginia is for Computer Science Lovers’ Campaign

14c68d2b-8449-4045-85db-51cb5a857023-originalVirginia launched a new PR campaign Monday to draw attention to the state’s quickly growing computer science industry. The campaign ties in neatly with Richmond Tech Week, which also kicked off Monday. Mallory Noe-Payne has more details.

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GRTC in Richmond Launches Training Program for Mechanics

 

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Credit U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman

 

Public transportation plays a big role in a community — helping people get to and from work and school. But now Richmond’s public transport agency is trying something new: workforce development. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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New Rules Threaten Growing Blue Cat Industry

 

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Watermen bring in a morning’s haul of blue catfish from the Rappahannock River in Virginia. ( Credit Pamela D’Angelo)

In recent years, Chesapeake watermen and seafood processors have begun developing a market for blue catfish, that invasive species that has exploded in regional waters vacuuming up baby blue crabs, shad, striped bass and other economically important fish. But new USDA inspection rules that hold foreign imports to U.S. standards could threaten that growing market. Pamela D’Angelo reports on America’s other, other white meat for Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative.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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Va News Topics: Saving Honeybees, Self-Driving Cars to Virginia

untitledThe past few years have been difficult for honeybees with thousands of colonies dying every winter but Virginia is working on a plan to help these important pollinators stay alive. And, the Virginia Department of Transportation hopes to attract more research on self-driving cars to Virginia by opening sections of the state’s interstate highways to companies building and testing autonomous vehicles. Fred Echols has more.

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Gillespie, Northam Discuss Guns, Fracking and Economy in First Gubernatorial Debate

 

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The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs was the site of the first gubernatorial debate between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam.
(Credit Creative Commons)

Virginia’s two major-party candidates for governor duked it out over the weekend in the first of three debates. Michael Pope has the story.

 

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First Gubernatorial Debate Does Not Include Libertarian Candidate

 

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Libertarian Candidate, Cliff Hyra (right), was not invited to the debate.
(Credit Michael Pope)

The first of three debates for governor is scheduled for this weekend, when Democrat Ralph Northam will square off with Republican Ed Gillespie at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs. But there’s one candidate who’s not invited to the party. Michael Pope has details.

 

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Tim Kaine’s Health Care Plan: Reinsurance

 

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Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 18, 2017.
(Credit AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

In Washington, leaders in both parties are at odds over how to move forward on health care. One senator who is trying to seize the moment is Democrat Tim Kaine, who says he has a plan to move forward. Michael Pope has the story.

 

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Democratic Party Launches New Agenda in Competitive Virginia District

 

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York joins fellow Congressional Democrats as they unveil their new agenda at a park in Berryville, Virginia. (Credit AP Photo / Cliff Owen)

Democrats are eager to fight for the blue-collar voters who once made up the core of their base, voters who sided with Trump last year. Now they have a new platform of issues to attract those voters, and Democrats chose Virginia as the staging ground to launch that attack against the Republicans. Michael Pope has details.

 

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Virginia Lawmakers Seek to Tame the Wild West of Online Lending

 

 

The internet has upended the recording industry, the newspaper industry and the hotel industry. Now state regulators are looking at how to handle the latest industry to go online — cheap and easy high-interest loans. Michael Pope has details.

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Richmond Public Transport Partners with Tech Company to Serve Elderly, Disabled

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The disabled and elderly often rely on public transportation to get them where they need to go. Now, Richmond officials are hoping to make things a bit easier by partnering with a local tech start-up.  Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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‘Nuestras Historias’ Explores Richmond’s Latino Community

 

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Wanda Hernandez (left) with volunteer Sasha Jiron (right) at the ¿Qué Pasa? Festival in Richmond this Spring. (Credit Courtesy of Wanda Hernandez)

Last year, for the first time, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond held a special ceremony for its Latino graduates. Parents in the audience, many of whom were celebrating the first college graduate in their families, heard this poem by student Vei Citlalin Bobadilla. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

 

 

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Governor McAuliffe Takes Stock of what Did – and Didn’t – Happen on Mental Health During Term

 

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“I feel good about where we are. But I don’t feel that good. There’s still urgency to achieve more, until we get to the point where we are a national leader. And I think we can be there.” Creigh Deeds

During his last few months as governor, Terry McAullife is taking stock of his time in office — especially on action on mental health. Michael Pope has the story.

 

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Virginia Agriculture Jumps By 30% in Four Years

 

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Teens Ben Testa, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough pick strawberries at Wegmeyer Farms in Hamilton, Va. Virginia’s agriculture industries have boomed in recent years.
Credit Carolyn Kaster / AP

Virginia’s largest industry is agriculture, and it’s only getting larger. That’s according to new numbers released Tuesday. Mallory Noe-Payne was at the capitol for the announcement and filed this report. 

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Meet Your Libertarian Candidate for Governor, Cliff Hyra

 

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Cliff Hyra, right, campaigns in Clarendon, Virginia.
Credit Michael Pope

The race for governor has more than two candidates, although the third man in the race is getting far less attention. Michael Pope spent some time with him on the campaign trail.

 

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Gillespie Rolls Out Plan for Veterans

 

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Republican candidate for governor, Ed Gillespie, right, talks with former Republican Lt. Gov. candidate Glenn Davis, left, at a polling place on primary Election Day.
Credit Steve Helber / AP

Republican candidate for Governor Ed Gillespie was in Norfolk today, unveiling a suite of proposals to help Virginia’s veterans. Mallory Noe- Payne has details.

 

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VA News Topics: Goose Protest, Turtle Prosthetic

untitled.pngNeighbors have marched in protest and a congressman has gotten involved after federal officials euthanized more than 100 geese in Virginia Beach…and an accidental injury to a pet turtle has given Virginia researchers a chance to accomplish something never done before. Fred Echols reports.

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November House of Delegates Election May Be Most Contested Ever

Virginia_State_Capitol3.jpgVoters will have more choices in this year’s election for the House of Delegates than they have ever had before. Michael Pope reports.

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North Carolina Makes Moves to Purchase Land for New Bridge to Outer Banks

 

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Nag’s Head North Carolina is part of the state’s Outer Banks. North Carolina has had a plan to build another bridge to the popular destination for years. (Credit Gerry Broome/AP )

North Carolina is making moves on a project it’s had in the works for decades: a new bridge that would make it easier for Virginians to access the Outer Banks. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

 

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Calculating the Cost of Eliminating Taxes in the Poorest Parts of Virginia

 

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Credit MBandman / Creative Commons

 

One lawmaker from the Southwest corner of Virginia is pushing a plan to create tax breaks in some of the poorest parts of the state. But as Michael Pope reports, implementing that plan would blast a giant hole in the budget.

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Representative Don Beyer’s Bill Aims to Deliver Non-Partisan Redistricting

 

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Credit AP Photo / Alex Brandon

One Virginia Democrat is proposing a sweeping overhaul to how the nation’s congressional districts are drawn. Correspondent Matt Laslo has the details from Washington on a bill that could take the politics out of how the nation’s lawmakers are chosen.

 

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Standardized Tests Could Have Smaller Impact Under New Law

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Credit: Tim Taylor / Flickr

How should schools and teachers be evaluated in Virginia? And what role should standardized testing play. Michael Pope reports those tests are about to have less of an influence in schools across the Commonwealth.

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Controversial Drug Used in Virginia’s Latest Executions

 

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A compounded drug from an unknown manufacturing facility in Virginia has been used in the state’s last two executions at the Greenville Correctional Facility in Jarratt Virginia.
(Credit Mallory Noe-Payne)

Last week Virginia executed 36-year-old William Morva for the murders of a sheriff’s deputy and security guard back in 2006. In the final hours of his life, Morva’s lawyers raised concerns over how Virginia gets the drugs it uses in executions, and why they may not be working properly. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Gillespie Wants to Use State Funds for Long-Term Addiction Treatment Centers

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Gillespie at a roundtable on addiction treatment in Richmond Wednesday. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

On the campaign trail, Virginia’s Republican candidate for Governor is talking about how to save taxpayer money, while also tackling the opioid epidemic. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Soon-to-Be Demolished GA Building Could Be the State’s Largest Yard Sale

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Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber

Tuesday, state officials opened up the soon-to-be demolished General Assembly building in downtown Richmond for what might have been the largest yard sale in Virginia history… The public was invited to peruse and purchase all 11-stories of artifacts, office supplies and junk. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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CBO Score Could Be a Hurdle for Federal Recognition of Virginia Indian Tribes

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Senator Tim Kaine is working to gain federal recognition for Virginia’s Indian tribes. (Credit: AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

Virginia Indian tribes have been seeking federal recognition for decades, and they are closer now than they have ever been. But a new score from the Congressional Budget Office might be a stumbling block for moving forward. Michael Pope reports.

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Kaine Hears From Parents Worried About Potential Medicaid Cuts

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Senator Tim Kaine listens to parents of medically complex children during a roundtable discussion in Northern Virginia.

As the Senate considers a major overhaul to the Affordable Care Act, parents of medically complex children are worried about their future, and what might happen to them if Medicaid is cut. This week, Democratic Senator Tim Kaine heard from several of these parents in a roundtable discussion in Northern Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Va News Topcs: Firefighter Diversity and Natural Bridge

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

The Henrico County Fire Department says it was purely accidental when it recently achieved a first in employment diversity and Virginia’s famous Natural Bridge is also a working highway bridge, one that’s causing some safety concerns. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VA News link. Fred Echols reports.

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Lafayette River Rebounds, Community Still Wary of Bay Budget Cuts

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From left: Sean Corson, Acting Director, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office; Rep. Bobby Scott, (3rd District); Ryan Jackson, aide to Rep. Scott; Molly Ward, Virginia Sec. of Natural Resources; Rick Coradi, Rotary Club of Norfolk all dump oysters with baby oysters attached onto a newly constructed reef. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

After nearly a decade of work, the once-polluted, urban Lafayette River in Norfolk is rebounding. The Elizabeth River Project and Chesapeake Bay Foundation will build just five more acres of oyster reefs to become Virginia’s first river to meet Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration goals. Last week, federal, state and local legislators celebrated with community activists, but remain concerned that the president’s budget has zeroed out all bay cleanup funding. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Transgender Murder in Lynchburg Not the First in the Region

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From left to right: Ebony Morgan, Noony Norwood and India Monroe (Credit: VAVP)

Police in Lynchburg are currently investigating the murder of Ebony Morgan, a transgender woman. Morgan had been shot multiple times before she was found and taken to the hospital last Sunday. But Morgan is not the first transgender victim in Virginia, and it has the region’s LGBTQ community shaken. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Understanding Lynchburg’s Unemployment Rate

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Lynchburg has the highest unemployment rate among Virginia’s metropolitan areas. (Credit: Creative Commons)

Unemployment is down across Virginia, although the numbers vary between metropolitan areas. Michael Pope is digging into the data.

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Virginia Carries Out Execution of William Morva

Despite requests for clemency, Virginia executed 35-year-old William Morva Thursday night. Morva was convicted of killing a security officer and a sheriff’s deputy in 2006, but his lawyers say he suffered from serious mental illness. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Credit: Virginia Department of Corrections

Just hours prior to the execution Virginia’s Governor announced he would not grant clemency despite appeals from mental health advocates, lawmakers, and even experts from the United Nations. Lisa Kinney  with Virginia’s Department of Corrections announced his execution Thursday night.

“When asked whether he had any last words Mr. Morva responded ‘No.’ Execution was carried out without complications,” Kinney told reporters.

Morva’s lawyers also raised concerns over the concoction of lethal injection drugs. Virginia law allows the state to buy the drugs in secret from compounding pharmacies, instead of directly from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Virginia law allows the state to buy lethal injection drugs in secret from compounding pharmacies, instead of directly from pharmaceutical manufacturers. Many pharmaceutical companies have stopped selling the drugs under pressure from activists.

When Virginia last used this mix of chemicals for an execution in January, witnesses say the inmate appeared to gasp and convulse before dying.

Morva’s Lawyer Dawn Davison witnessed his execution.

“His stomach would concave in completely and he would kind of convulse a little bit as though he were gasping for air and that went on for perhaps a minute or two,” Davison told reporters afterward.

Only  Texas has executed more people since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970’s.

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When a Ku Klux Klan Rally Taught Fear

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A Ku Klux Klan gathering in Muncie, Indiana in 1922. (Credit: William Arthur Swift / Ball State University)

Charlie Russell grew up on the west-side of Indianapolis in the 1950’s. In his all-black neighborhood the racial violence of the south that he saw on television felt far away. While he had experienced discrimination, he had never experienced fear.  That changed, though, when he was in college in the blue-collar town of Muncie Indiana and the KKK held a rally.

Russell now lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This weekend a North Carolina-based chapter of the Ku Klux Klan plans to rally in Charlottesville.

 

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State Supreme Court: Car Title Lenders Can Keep Business Details Under Wraps

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Credit: Tom Woodward / Creative Commons

Justices are siding with car-title lenders in their fight to keep key aspects of their business a secret. Michael Pope has the story.

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McAuliffe Won’t Stop Tonight’s Execution

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Governor McAuliffe claimed he’s been losing sleep — trying to decide whether William Morva should be executed.

Virginia’s governor has said he will not intervene in the execution of William Morva, set for 9 o’clock tonight. Sandy Hausman spoke with Terry McAuliffe shortly before he announced the decision.

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A River Runs Through It: The Shenandoah, Virginia’s Bread Basket and Algae

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Farmer Bobby Whitescarver is on a mission to restore Virginia’s watersheds. His immediate goal is to clean up the Middle River that runs through he and his wife’s 9th generation farm in Swoope. “Our goal is to get this river so clean that we can stock it with Virginia’s native fish which is brook trout. If we can do that, we’ve restored the river.” (Credit: Jessie Knadler)

The Shenandoah River was once considered a world class fishery. Now, sections are coated in a scummy, potentially toxic algae resulting from manure runoff from farms. Jessie Knadler takes a look at Virginia’s water pollution problem and seeks to find out why the state can’t or won’t protect the Shenandoah.

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New Disclosure Forms Show Lasting Impact of McDonnell Case

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Former Governor Bob McDonnell, seen here speaking to reporters last year following a Supreme Court ruling that overturned his corruption conviction. That case seems to have left a mark on Virginia’s lawmakers, who appear to be receiving far fewer gifts than normal according to new disclosure forms. (Credit: AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

The pay-to-play scandal that resulted in the conviction of former Governor Bob McDonnell may have ended when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the jury’s unanimous decision, but Michael Pope reports that at least one part of that trial has lasting consequences.

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UN Officials Ask Virginia Governor To Halt Planned Execution

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Credit: Virginia Department of Corrections

William Morva was convicted of killing a security guard and sheriff’s deputy nine years ago. He had been jailed for robbery, and was delusional — convinced the prison food was killing him. Morva’s execution is scheduled for Thursday night, but opposition is mounting. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, experts from the UN have issued a statement.

 

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How Police And Social Services Can Work Together To Fight Opioid Abuse

Opioids.pngWith opioid addiction reaching what some are calling epidemic proportions in Danville, law enforcement has an obvious role to play. Treatment and prevention specialists say the Danville Police are doing more than just arresting offenders. Fred Echols reports.

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Judge’s FOIA Ruling Creates More Questions Than Answers

foia_stockHow much information should the public have about members of the General Assembly? And how should they go about getting it? Michael Pope has the story.

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Projection: Number of Virginians Over Age 65 Will Double in 20 Years

Virginia isn’t getting any younger.  In fact, new demographic projections about the state’s future show the Old Dominion is about to get significantly older.

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In the next 20 years, the number of people over the age of 65 in Virginia is expected to double.  That’s according to new state and local projections conducted by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Fourth of July Weekend, Gillespie Proposes Legalizing Fireworks

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Republican candidate for governor Ed Gillespie wants to make it easier for Virginians to access and use fireworks. (Credit: Gillespie Campaign)

As Virginians head into their holiday weekends, politics may be the last thing thing they want to talk about. But Virginia’s Republican candidate for Governor Ed Gillespie is taking advantage of the Fourth of July to announce a policy proposal: legalizing fireworks. Mallory Noe-Payne has the story.

 

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The On-Going Debate Over Net Neutrality

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Credit: Sean MacEntee / Flickr

Lawmakers in Washington are debating the future of the internet. How much should it be regulated? Or should it be regulated? These are some of the questions at the heart of the debate over net neutrality. Michael Pope reports.

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House Passes Goodlatte Bills to Crack Down on Sanctuary Cities and Undocumented Immigrants

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Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Roanoke says its time to crack down on undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities. (Credit: AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta)

In Washington, the House of Representatives voted in favor of two immigration bills introduced by U.S Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Roanoke). The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act passed 228 to 195, with three Democrats voting in favor and seven Republicans vote against. Kate’s Law passed 257 to 167, with 24 Democrats voting in favor and only one Republican voting against. Members of the Virginia delegation voted along party lines. Michael Pope has details.

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After Losing Democratic Nomination for Governor, Tom Perriello Starts PAC

tpg-tpsp-socialAfter losing the Democratic primary for governor, former Congressman Tom Perriello is now launching the next chapter in his political career. Michael Pope has the story.

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The Fight to Restore Chesapeake Bay Funding

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From left: Ben Grumbles, Maryland Secretary of Environment; Russell Redding, Secretary Pennsylvania adept. of Agriculture; Kenny Bounds, Deputy Sec. Delaware Dept. of Agriculture; Molly Award, Virginia Secretary Natural Resources; Tommy Wells, D.C. Department of Energy and Environment (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

 

A bipartisan array of state officials went to bat for the Chesapeake Bay yesterday, lobbying their Congressional representatives to restore $73 million in bay restoration funds that was chopped out of the 2018 federal budget. Pamela D’Angelo reports for Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative.

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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1 in 100 Babies in Virginia Suffer from Opioid Withdrawal

nas_infographic__vnpc_Last year, for every 100 babies born in Virginia, one was already suffering withdrawal from drug use. And while that statistic is alarming, health care providers are trying to see it as an opportunity — to reach patients who need the most help. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Primary Decision Goes Against Republican Tradition

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Credit: gop.com/Wikimedia Commons

Republicans are moving away from their longtime use of conventions to select their statewide candidates. Party leaders recently chose a statewide primary rather than a convention to select their candidate to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Tim Kaine. Michael Pope has the story.

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What Would the Senate’s Healthcare Bill Mean for Virginia’s Opioid Epidemic?

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Credit: AP Photo / Tony Talbot, File 

While lawmakers on Capitol Hill are debating health care, Virginia is in the midst of an opioid crisis. So how would the bills currently being debated address that crisis? Michael Pope has the story.

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Senate Health Plan Could Cost $1.4 Billion for Virginia’s Medicaid Program

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Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services runs Medicaid.

A vote on the Senate healthcare bill has been delayed, and part of the opposition to the measure is how it affects Medicaid spending. In Virginia, more than a million people are enrolled in Medicaid — about half are children. If the Senate healthcare bill were to become law, Medicaid would take a serious hit: a billion and a half dollars over the next seven years.  That’s according to a recent analysis by the state agency that runs the program. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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