Goodlatte Reflects on 26 Years in Congress

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Rep. Bob Goodlatte

In January Virginia will lose Congressman Bob Goodlatte – who as Judiciary Committee Chair has been the most powerful member of the Commonwealth’s delegation in Washington.

Correspondent Matt Laslo reports from the Capitol that the Republican will be missed by many.

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Poll Shows Support for I-81 Improvements, According to Industry Group

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(Credit: Jeff Bossert)

The Virginia Department of Transportation has a draft plan for improvements to Interstate 81, the vital highway that runs along the western side of the state.

Now a construction industry group says it’s time for legislators to hit the gas.

David Seidel explains.

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Va. News: Studying Ferry Service out of Prince William County, Digitizing Public Records in Suffolk

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One of the last cities in Virginia to fully digitize public records is finally taking the plunge. And people in Virginia’s I-95 corridor north of Fredericksburg may soon have a faster way to get into DC.

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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Virginia Representatives Leery of Possible Government Shutdown

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(Credit Rog Cogswell via flickr.com / CC)

Virginia lawmakers are monitoring the potential of a partial government shutdown.

They know from past shutdowns that the Commonwealth’s economy gets hit by them, as Matt Laslo reports.

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Down on the Farm in Petersburg

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  Young urban farmers Saajida Chohan and Paul Meyer with their Virginia State University professor Leonard Githinji.
(Credit: Sandy Hausman)

The city of Petersburg was once a prosperous place where railroads crossed and tobacco money changed hands. Today it’s economically depressed.

But a program pioneered by Virginia State University could help to revive the city in a surprising way.

David Seidel has that story.

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Kaine, Warner Hopeful About Avoiding Government Shutdown

StateSeal00Leaders in Washington may be heading toward yet another government shutdown, although Virginia’s two senators are hopeful Congress can avoid brinkmanship. Michael Pope reports.

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From Springsteen to Smashing Pumpkins and Beyond: Richmond Underground Music Spot is Closing

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Local sludge metal band Windhand performs at one of Strange Matter’s final shows.  (Credit: Brad Kutner)

For nearly 50 years alternative touring and local musicians have found an audience at Richmond’s 929 West Grace Street, just a stone’s throw from VCU’s Monroe Park Campus.

Now, the latest iteration of the space, Strange Matter, is closing its doors after nearly a decade.

Brad Kutner has more from Richmond.

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Congress Likely to Pass “Ashanti Alert” Legislation from Virginia Lawmakers

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Credit: Daniel Huizinga / Flickr

Democrats and Republicans in Congress may be deadlocked over a potential government shutdown and funding a wall on the southern border. But, they’re also coming together to pass significant bipartisan legislation at the end of the year. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia’s Unemployment Numbers Show More Women Are Out of Work Than Men

virginia_flag_map_0Gender disparity in employment and salaries is well established. But there is another aspect of the gender gap that has not received as much attention. Michael Pope reports.

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Jury Recommends Life Sentence for Charlottesville Car Attack

Cville Courthouse Monday

Barricades line the sidewalk outside the Charlottesville courthouse on the first day of James Fields’ trial. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

A jury says James Fields should spend the rest of his life in prison for the car attack that killed a woman and injured dozens in Charlottesville.

David Seidel has reaction to the sentence.

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Northam Proposes 5-Percent Teacher Raise

governor-northam-official-photo_800Governor Ralph Northam is proposing a five-percent pay raise for teachers. It’s just one among a list of education priorities the Governor will present to lawmakers next week. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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School Divisions Closely Watching Stafford County Policy Decision

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Credit: staffordschools.net

School divisions across Virginia are in the midst of a transformation, one that may have profound consequences for transgender students. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Small Town Strips Mayor of Powers, Outsourcing School Custodial Duties

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A small Virginia town may soon be involved in a court fight over its state-issued charter. And one school division’s plan to save money has brought mixed results.

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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With 2019 Session Around the Corner, State Lawmakers Already Looking Ahead

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Lawmakers are about to assemble in Richmond for the next session of the General Assembly. But, as Michael Pope reports, many of them are already thinking ahead to the next election.

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Richmond Start-Up Offers “Adventurer” Insurance Plans

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Credit: Sheila Berrios-Nazario of goldenagetrips.com / Flickr

A new start-up in Richmond is looking to fill a gap – insurance for adventurers. Nick Gilmore reports.

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Should Gun Owners Be Liable If Their Guns Are Used in a Crime?

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Credit: Creative Commons / Public Domain

Gun control is expected to be a major flashpoint in the upcoming session of the Virginia General Assembly, and lawmakers are preparing a long list of potential new laws. Michael Pope reports on one measure in the works.

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Proposed Legislation Would Change the Way Virginia Investigates Child Abuse

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Child abuse investigations are at the center of one bill that’ll be considered next month in Richmond. Michael Pope reports.

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General Assembly May Consider Expanding Attorney General’s Jurisdiction for Hate Crimes

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Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (Credit: Edward Kimmel via flickr.com / CC)

Virginia’s attorney general is hoping members of the General Assembly will give his office new authority to go after hate crimes. Michael Pope reports.

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Caviar Comeback: Sturgeon in the James

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  Giant sturgeon have returned to the James River, but will their offspring survive?
(Credit VCU Rice Rivers Center)

Since colonial times, American fishermen have treasured the Atlantic sturgeon – a source of meat, oil and caviar they could export to Europe.

Many of these fish would leave the ocean each spring or fall to spawn in the James, Delaware and Hudson Rivers, but as demand for their salt-cured eggs grew, the population of sturgeon fell until – in 1974 – Virginia became the first state to ban catching them.

Now, Sandy Hausman reports, this source of caviar is making a comeback and scientists are hoping to help.

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Herring Hears Tales of Hate Crimes, Proposes Legislative Action

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Attorney General Mark Herring (Credit: Edward Kimmel via flickr.com / CC)

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is currently on a listening tour across Virginia, hearing stories about hate crimes and white supremacy.

Michael Pope has the story.

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A Look at Life Expectancy in Virginia

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Credit: University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service

Men outnumber women in Virginia until they reach their mid-thirties. After that, women outnumber men until very late in life. Michael Pope reports on the gender gap at the end of life.

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Va. News: Hemp Processed into Products – and Jobs, Drug Testing in Page County Schools

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Virginia’s first hemp processing plant is on track to open in 2019…and Page County is about to start random drug testing for high school athletes and drivers.

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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Photographer, Victims Describe Terrifying Scene of Charlottesville Car Attack

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flickr.com / CC

Three victims of the deadly crash following a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville testified Friday, along with an award-winning photographer who took pictures of the event.

Sandy Hausman is covering the trial of the man accused of deliberately driving his car into a crowd.

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New Virginia Reps Get Crash Course in Congress

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(Credit Rog Cogswell via flickr.com / CC)

Virginia just sent five new lawmakers to Washington who have spent the past few weeks going through freshmen orientation.

Correspondent Matt Laslo has this snapshot of their time at the Capitol.

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RC Poll: Consumer Sentiment Heavily Dependent on Political Affiliation in Virginia

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Credit: Roanoke College

How healthy is Virginia’s economy? The answer to that question might just depend on how you vote. Michael Pope reports.

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Witnesses in Fields Trial Recount Deadly Crash

Cville Courthouse Monday

Barricades line the sidewalk outside the Charlottesville City courthouse. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

A young man hit by a car after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville gave dramatic testimony Thursday, and the defense hinted at its strategy in opening arguments.

Sandy Hausman was in court and filed this report.

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Melania Trump to Liberty University Students: Remove the Stigma of Opioid Addiction

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First Lady Melania Trump as seen on a video screen in Liberty University’s Vines Center
(Credit: David Seidel)

First Lady Melania Trump Wednesday stressed the need to remove the stigma from opioid addiction.

David Seidel reports she also opened up about what she tells her own son about the danger.

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Yes, There ARE Fewer Stink Bugs This Year

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Credit: Katja Schulz via Flickr.com / CC

Have you noticed there are fewer Stink Bugs around this year? Robbie Harris reports on why that it is and what we might expect going forward.

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Millenials Are Leading the Way in Virginia’s Rising Homeownership Rate

homeownershipThe recession ended a decade ago. But in some ways, Virginia’s housing industry is just now starting to recover. Michael Pope reports.

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Auto Loan Delinquencies On the Rise in Virginia

Auto Loan Delinquency in VirginiaIt’s been a decade since the subprime mortgage crisis tanked the global economy. Now, there’s another potential bubble about to burst. Michael Pope reports.

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Turning Pig Poop into Natural Gas

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Align Renewable Natural Gas

Hog farmers in Virginia could soon be making money on an overlooked by-product  — methane gas.

Mallory Noe-Payne has details on a new venture between Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods.

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RC Poll: Virginia Shoppers Looking to Spend This Holiday Season

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Credit: Roanoke College

The holiday shopping season is now officially upon us. And one recent survey of shoppers reveals this is likely to be a lucrative year. Michael Pope reports.

You can find the survey here.

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Man Charged in White Nationalist Rally to Argue Self-defense

Cville Courthouse Monday

Barricades line the sidewalk outside the Charlottesville City courthouse Monday. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

Jury selection began in Charlottesville Monday for the trial of James Fields, Junior.

He’s accused of murdering Heather Heyer, and injuring several others, when he drove a car into a crowd during the Unite the Right Rally.

Mallory Noe-Payne has been in court and has this report.

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Va. News: Rappahannock Oral History Vindicated, Pardoned Turkeys at Virginia Tech

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New research is vindicating oral histories passed down by Virginia’s Rappahanock Tribe. And a pair of turkeys recently pardoned at the White House will enjoy their retirement  at Virginia Tech.

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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Fighting Ice with Ice: VT Engineers Invent Environmentally Friendly Frost Preventing Technology

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Deicing airplanes using antifreeze chemicals is a common practice during winter months. Virginia Tech’s new anti-frosting technology has the potential for use in aerospace applications, including airplane wing manufacturing

We’ve all heard the saying “fight fire with fire.” 

Well, scientists at Virginia Tech have a new twist on that idea.  They’ve come up with a way to “fight ice with ice.”

As Robbie Harris reports, it could revolutionize the way we de-ice everything from airplanes to windshields without harming the environment.

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Even With Medicaid Expansion, There’s Still Debate Over Work Requirements

StateSeal00Democrats have been trying to expand Medicaid for years, and they were unsuccessful until this year when they cut a deal with Republicans to institute work requirements. Now, as Michael Pope reports, those work requirements are creating a new set of difficulties.

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On Immigration Where Congress Fails, States Step In

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As gridlock in Congress prevents meaningful action on immigration, state lawmakers have begun to fill in the gap.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, Virginia’s legislature is one of the busiest — taking a lead in state-based immigration legislation.

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Congress to Consider Beyer’s School Seclusion Bill

399px-Don_Beyer,_official_114th_Congress_photo_portraitMembers of Congress are about to consider a piece of school legislation that has its origins in the Virginia General Assembly. Michael Pope reports.

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“It’ll Be 40 to 60 Years” A History of the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia

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Virginia is on the verge of history. The commonwealth could be the 38th, and final state, to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

The amendment to the U.S. constitution guarantees rights based on gender.

Momentum around the cause has surged, giving activists hope this could be the year.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the fight began decades ago.

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VCU to Study Opioid Withdrawal Treatment

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Doctors at Virginia Commonwealth University are beginning a study that could save lives by changing the way people with opioid addiction are treated.

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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State Lawmakers May Soon Consider Ethics of Medicaid Aid in Dying

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Credit: Wellness Corporate Solutions / Flickr / wellnesscorporatesolutions.com

Should doctors help terminally ill patients end their lives? That’s a moral debate that’s about to unfold in Richmond. Michael Pope reports.

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New Virginia Democrats Deciding on House Speaker

 

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Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Credit: Julio Obscua via flickr.com/CC)

The Commonwealth’s newly elected Democrats who voters just sent to Washington will now be pivotal in writing Nancy Pelosi’s future.

Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

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Does Virginia Need So Many Occupational Licenses?

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

For many jobs in Virginia, workers are required to get a license. But what’s the cost of all those licenses? Michael Pope reports.

You can find the new report here.

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With New Research Ship, VIMS Steps Up the Science

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Three-year-old Trent digs into the sand at Yorktown waterfront. Behind him visitors tour VIMS new research vessel Virginia. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science is stepping up the science behind managing state fisheries, as well as research on how the planet is changing with a newly built 93-foot, state-of-the-art research vessel, the R/V Virginia.

Pamela D’Angelo went aboard to take a look.

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Va. News: Eastern Shore economy benefits from launches, Driverless Shuttles in Albermarle County

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Going to the beach is generally seen as a summer tradition but hotels and restaurants on Virginia’s Chincoteague Island are doing excellent year-round business thanks to rocket science. And a new shuttle service is coming to Albemarle County but you won’t have to tip the driver.

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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Affordable Housing in Virginia Remains Difficult to Find

rentersThe economy is booming, and Virginia is doing well in a number of areas. But, some are being left behind. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Think School Counselors Should Spend More Time Counseling

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Credit: joeannenah / Flickr

What will it take for Virginia schools to be more secure? A panel of lawmakers recently looked at the issue and made a number of key recommendations. Michael Pope reports.

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Can Tangier Island Survive?

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(Credit: Sandy Hausman)

As hurricane season draws to a close, Virginians who live on the coast may be feeling relief, but for residents of Tangier Island the threat of being overwhelmed by wind and waves remains.

They could become the first climate change refugees in this country.

This fall, the state promised to spend 3-million-dollars on a sea wall to protect Tangier’s harbor, but locals want a wall to surround their shrinking island as Sandy Hausman reports.

Note: There are three parts to this report below.

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Environmental Groups Warn of Coal Ash Health Risk at Conservation Area

StateSeal00It could cost billions to recycle toxic coal ash currently sitting in lagoons across Virginia. That’s according to a report Dominion Energy gave to lawmakers this week. At the same time, two environmental groups now say coal ash ponds in Chesterfield could pose a risk to human health. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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In Potential New Leadership Role, Scott Planning to Join Fight for 15

BobbyScottAs Democrats plan to take control of the House of Representatives, one Virginia congressman is poised to control a key committee. And he’s already making plans for what he wants to do in that position. Michael Pope reports.

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