The Coal Industry in Virginia May Have Hit Rock Bottom

coaljobsIn the last decade, Virginia’s coal industry has gone into a freefall. Michael Pope has details.

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Parents of Matthew Shepard Campaign for 6th District Candidate

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  Dennis and Judy Shepard speak at a campaign fundraiser for Jennifer Lewis at the Mill Street Grill in Staunton, September 13.
(Credit Jessie Knadler)

LGBTQ advocates Judy and Dennis Shepard, whose son Matthew was fatally tortured in Wyoming for his sexual orientation twenty years ago, recently joined Sixth District Democratic Congressional candidate Jennifer Lewis at a fundraiser in Staunton.

Jessie Knadler has more.

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Possible Tornadoes Sweep Through Richmond, Killing One

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Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne

One person has been killed following a likely tornado touchdown south of Richmond Monday evening.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, much of the Richmond area was under tornado watch Monday night, as the remnants of Florence moved through the area.

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Goodlatte Gets Praise for Shepherding Bill to Expand Marijuana Research

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Rep. Bob Goodlatte/(R) 6th District

Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte is no fan of marijuana but he’s being applauded by the nation’s marijuana advocates.

Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from the Capitol.  

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Florence Storm Prep and Response Costs Virginia $60 Million

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A breakdown of two-weeks worth of Florence costs for Virginia.

Virginia has spent almost $60 million in the past two weeks on prep and response for tropical storm Florence. That figure was delivered to lawmakers in Richmond Monday during a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Research: Preparedness Education and Messaging May Not Be Enough

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Credit: Elyaqim Mosheh Adam/flickr.com/CC

Hurricane season comes as no surprise to Virginians.  We know when it’s coming, and we know what the consequences might be.

So how good are we at preparing?

A professor at the University of Virginia analyzed records from thousands of grocery stores and reached some surprising conclusions as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Some Local Jails Won’t Move Prisoners from Hurricane Evacuation Zone

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While parts of Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Norfolk, Virginia are under mandatory evacuation orders, prisoners at jails in those cities are staying put.

That’s upset one national non-profit which is crusading to get inmates out.

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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Hurricane Predictions: Understanding the Uncertainties

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Virginia Tech Professor Robert Weiss recently completed a study on how climate change and sea level rise will supercharge future storm. (Credit: Virginia Tech)

When a hurricane is on the way, people are told to prepare for the worst.

But when it’s over, if the effects were not as bad as expected, what happens next time around?

Robbie Harris has more.

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From the Western to Eastern Shores of the Chesapeake Bay, People Ready for Florence

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Edward Bowis moves a boat to shelter.
(Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

All this week people who live along the Chesapeake Bay have been preparing for whatever Hurricane Florence may bring.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Republicans and Democrats Hope to Reverse Federal Worker Pay Freeze

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Credit Rog Cogswell, Creative Commons

About 40% of the U. S. House of Representatives has asked President Trump to rescind his plan for a pay freeze for the federal work force next year and instead give them a pay raise.

Correspondent Matt Laslo has the details from the Capitol.

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Virginia Senators Warner, Kaine to Vote No On Kavanaugh Nomination

StateSeal00As the vote nears for Senate confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, both of Virginia’s senators are now announcing their intention to vote no. Michael Pope has the story.

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Arlington Remembers September 11th Attack on Pentagon

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Credit: Patrickneil / Creative Commons

People all across Virginia stopped today to recall the events of September 11th, 2001. But nowhere were the memories as raw as Arlington, where one of the hijacked planes slammed into the Pentagon. Michael Pope has the story.

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Latest Breathalyzer Tech Goes for a Test Drive in Virginia

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Governor Ralph Northam examines one of the demonstration vehicles. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

State officials announced a new partnership today/Monday, aimed at getting breathalyzer technology ready for wider commercial use in vehicles around the Commonwealth.

Mallory Noe-Payne has detail.

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Tech Giant, Local Agencies Work to Bring Broadband to Rural Virginia

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A TV whitespace tower at a Virginia school (Credit: Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation & Microsoft)

Southern Virginia’s economy has been devastated by the loss of the tobacco and textile industries that sustained it through much of its history.

Now with the help of a corporate giant, local innovators are trying to remake part of Southside in the image of the digital age.

Fred Echols reports.

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Supreme Court Debate Could Have Impact on Uranium Mining in Virginia

StateSeal00The fierce debate about filling the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court is likely to have an immediate impact here in Virginia. Michael Pope has this preview of a case headed to the court this fall.

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Advocates Voice Concern About Growing Number of Women in Prison

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Credit: mitchell hainfield / Flickr

Women make up 15% of Virginia’s jail and prison population, but the number of female inmates is rising rapidly.

The American Civil Liberties Union has issued a report on why that’s happening and what should be done.

Sandy Hausman has details.

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Remembering Arthur Ashe’s Path from Richmond to the U. S. Open Championship

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Collection of Lou Einwick

As the U. S. Open men’s tennis final gets underway this weekend, many will mark Arthur Ashe’s barrier-breaking victory 50 years ago this Sunday.

Jason Fuller follows Ashe’s path from his hometown of Richmond to the championship.

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Job Growth is Uneven Across Virginia, Charlottesville Leads the Way

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Virginia is adding jobs, and that growth is happening across all parts of the commonwealth. But some parts are growing much faster than others. Michael Pope is looking at the numbers.

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Third Party Candidate Ordered off the Ballot in Competitive Virginia Race

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  Shaun Brown speaks with reporters after the ruling. She says she will appeal.
(Credit Mallory Noe-Payne)

Amidst findings of fraud, a judge in Richmond is ordering the independent candidate in a competitive Congressional race off the ballot this November.

Shaun Brown, a former Democrat running as an Independent in the 2nd District, says she will appeal the ruling.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports there’s still an ongoing criminal investigation, examining whether Republican Congressman Scott Taylor was involved.

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Virginia Schools Have A Funding Gap New Report Finds

schoolspovertyIt’s back to school time in Virginia, and students are headed back to classrooms across the commonwealth. But those schools are not being funded at the same levels. Michael Pope has this look at the funding gap.

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Sea Level Rise + Earthquakes +Tsunamis = More Coastal Flooding Ahead

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Robert Weiss and his partners created computer-simulated tsunamis at current sea level and with sea-level increases of 1.5 feet and 3 feet in the Chinese territory of Macau. (Credit Virginia Tech)

A first of its kind study finds even a small rise in sea level could lead to more coastal flooding worldwide.

A team of scientists including experts from Virginia Tech predicts a warming planet will see more ‘worst case scenarios’ more often, if nothing is done to prevent it.

Robbie Harris reports.

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RC Poll: Consumer Confidence Varies Widely By Political Party

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Credit: Roanoke College

What do Virginians think about the state of the economy? According to one new poll, that depends on what they think of the party in power. Michael Pope has more.

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The figure is a time series showing the Virginia Index of Consumer Sentiment by party affiliation. Note: Lines = Virginia Index of Consumer Sentiment (Blue=D, Red=R), Dashed Lines = VAICS Historical Average (Credit: Institute for Policy and Opinion Research at Roanoke College)

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Virginia May Soon Take a Step Towards Providing Health Insurance Stability

StateSeal00For people who get their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, recent years have seen some massive premium hikes. But now lawmakers in Virginia may be on the verge of stabilizing the marketplace for the individual market. Michael Pope reports.

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Va News: Telling the US Story of Slavery, UVA History

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Next year Virginia will mark the 400th anniversaries of the beginnings of English-style legislatures and African slavery in Britain’s American colonies……and a report on slavery’s role at the University of Virginia finds grave robbing was once common at black cemeteries.

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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New Tool Shows the Impact of Climate Change on Virginia Property Values

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The floodIQ website (floodiq.com)

Climate change is more than a theory. Now it’s an economic reality. And, it’s already taking a toll on property values across Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

You can access the tool here.

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Special Redistricting Session Yields Few Results So Far

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Credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr

Lawmakers were in Richmond Thursday to try to fix district maps for the state legislature.

The maps have been deemed unconstitutional by a federal court.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, they managed to get little done.

 

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Declining Numbers End Some High School Football Programs

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Source: Virginia High School League

Some varsity football programs are struggling across Virginia because students aren’t showing up to play the game.

Michael Pope takes a look at the issue with high school football.

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Bipartisan Group to Propose Redistricting Constitutional Amendment

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As lawmakers in Richmond battle over district lines, a heavy-hitting bipartisan group of former lawmakers want to change the way the entire process works.

The group includes Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Ward Armstrong. Along with legal experts, they plan to write and propose a new way to redistrict.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Habeeb’s General Assembly Career Begins and Ends With Redistricting

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Del. Greg Habeeb (Credit: Friends of Greg Habeeb / Creative Commons)

Lawmakers are back in Richmond this week for a special session on redistricting.

And, for one lawmaker, it’s the last hurrah.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Stats Show Job Growth and Wage Growth Don’t Always Go Hand-In-Hand

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Virginia is adding jobs, and wages are going up.

But, as Michael Pope reports, that’s not true all over the Commonwealth.

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Virginia Dems Propose New Legislative Districts

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Democratic Minority Leader David Toscano speaking at a press conference, along with Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring and Delegate Lamont Bagby. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Ahead of Thursday’s special legislative session, state Democrats have redrawn eleven legislative districts to comply with a court order. Democrats say their proposed map is constitutional, and that they did not rely on racial demographics. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Saving One of Virginia’s First African American Cemeteries

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Claude Vann, III, co-chair of the 2019 Commemorative Commission, and William Foley Jones, a descendant of William Tucker, raise the Tucker banner as Verrandall Tucker, another descendent directs. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Virginia is preparing to mark a painful anniversary—the first Africans brought to English America as slaves.

Last week in Hampton, Governor Ralph Northam gathered with the descendants of William Tucker, the first African to be born in what would become the United States.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Virginia’s Efforts to Stop the Release of 3D-Printed Gun Blueprints

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Credit: Justin Pickard / Flickr

Virginia is one of more than a dozen states working to prevent schematics for 3D printed guns from being posted online. Michael Pope reports.

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Trump Plan Shifts Clean Power Debate to States

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Credit onnola/flickr.com/CC

President Trump’s new proposal to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan has sparked a debate in the Commonwealth about the state’s energy future.

Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

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Special Session to Redraw Districts May Not Get Far

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State lawmakers will head back to Richmond August 30th for yet another special session.

But, as Michael Pope reports, don’t expect anything groundbreaking to happen anytime soon.

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Immigration, Abortion and Engaging College-aged Voters

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A couple of hundred people attended the candidate forum inside Squires Student Center. (Credit: David Seidel

The race for one of Virginia’s seats in the U. S. Senate made stop at Virginia Tech Friday.

David Seidel was there as Tim Kaine and Corey Stewart took questions from an audience of hundreds.

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Should Virginia Schools Focus on Security or Mental Health?

securitypollAs students are going back to school, administrators are faced with the difficult choice: how to make sure the classrooms are safe. And, as Michael Pope reports, opinions are divided about the best approach.

You can find the entire poll here.

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Virginia Women Are Putting Off Childbirth Until Later in Life

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Women in Virginia are choosing to give birth later and later in life. Michael Pope is looking at the numbers.

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Last Year’s SOL Scores are Out

doe_logo_transThe latest standardized test scores are out. According to a release today from the Department of Education, Virginia students’ performance on the SOL’s have dropped very slightly from last year. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Are Colleges and High Schools Turning Out ‘Engaged Citizens?’

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Credit: Creative Commons, Flickr

What does it take to become an engaged citizen? Opinions are divided along party lines. Michael Pope reports.

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Lawmakers in Richmond Are at Odds Over What to Do with Federal Tax Cut Money

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Usually it’s a lack of money that creates friction at the state capitol. But now it’s an abundance of it that is causing disagreement between Republicans and Democrats in Richmond. Michael Pope has the story.

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A Pipeline Update: Where Things Stand Now

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Protesters in Buckingham County hope to stop construction of a massive compressor station there. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

Virginia’s Water Control Board will meet Tuesday to consider the question of whether the state should be inspecting every point on a river or stream where pipeline builders propose to cross.

The Department of Environmental Quality had concluded it was enough to let the Army Corps of Engineers do that, but more than 9,000 people wrote to DEQ to protest that decision.

Sandy Hausman has more on where things stand with the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines.

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VDOT Holds Second Round of 1-81 Corridor Meetings

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Credit: Jeff Bossert

State transportation officials expect to have plans by late this year on how to free up congestion on Interstate 81.  

Jeff Bossert reports there’s a chance for public input over the next few days.

Click here for a list of upcoming meetings

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Shifts in Global Market Make it Important to Recycle Right

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  As buyers of recycled materials raise standards, waste managers are encouraging people to be careful about how they recycle. (Credit kennysarmy / Flickr CC)

Much of recycled cardboard in the U.S. used to head straight to China.

But in March, the government there decided to raise standards for importing recycled material.

And as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, that’s had an impact right here in Virginia.

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Wage Growth Is Widely Uneven Across Virginia

StateSeal00Virginia emerged from the recession with a low unemployment rate and higher wages. But that success is not shared across all of Virginia. Michael Pope has the story.

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House Democratic Leader Could Face Leadership Challenge This Week

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House Democratic Leader David Toscano (Credit: Creative Commons)

Lawmakers will be back in Richmond this week, which will allow Democrats to go behind closed doors and fight over who is leading their party in the House of Delegates.

Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia’s Sales Tax System Places Heavier Burdens on Low-Income Individuals

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Virginia’s system of sales taxes hits everyone with the same percentage on items they purchase. But it has a heavier burden for people with low incomes. Michael Pope explains.

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What Should Virginia Do With Its Tax Cut Windfall?


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Credit: 401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Remember that tax cut the president signed into law late last year? It cut many federal taxes. But, it may have also increased state taxes here in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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After Hours Emails & Texts Affect Employees and Families’ Well Being

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(Credit: Virginia Tech)

Our electronic devices have made communicating quick and easy.

But social scientists say there’s a downside to our ‘always on’ work culture that is hurting employees, and their families.

Robbie Harris reports.

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Recession Recovery Doesn’t Look the Same Across Virginia

hardrecoveryThe recession ended nearly a decade ago, and jobs are returning to Virginia. But, the recovery from this last recession is unlike what happened after previous recessions. Michael Pope reports.

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