Avoiding Eviction: How Virginia is Making the System Easier for Tenants

virginia_flag_map_0It’s a legislative success story. Reporting from the New York Times brought attention to Virginia’s eviction crisis, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers responded. In just a single year, the General Assembly passed a suite of legislation to bring clarity to the eviction process and give renters a second chance.

Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Northam Renews Push for a Virginia Hands-Free Law

governor-northam-official-photo_800Drivers in Virginia may soon be subject to a strict new law preventing them from holding their cell phones. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia’s Large Numbers of Children in Poverty Could Adversely Impact the State’s Health

StateSeal00A recent report indicates many of Virginia’s children live in poverty – a major concern for the long-term health of the Commonwealth. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Bath County school buses offer WiFi, Establishing a Line between two Va. Counties

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Two Virginia counties now know exactly where one of them ends and the other begins, something that hasn’t been clear for almost 200 years. And elementary school students in another county are getting a chance to make better use of their time on the bus.

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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Study Shows Many Virginia Communities Suffer from Poor Air Quality

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Virginia’s air quality has been a topic of debate in recent years, as environmentalists have clashed with business interests.

Meanwhile, as Michael Pope reports the quality of Virginia’s air has suffered.

 

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New Data Suggests Virginia Has a Drunk Driving Problem

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Drunk driving is a major problem in Virginia, especially in certain areas according to a new report. Michael Pope has details.

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Virginia Democrats split on Medicare for All Proposals

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The Democratic Party seems to be moving to the left with most of its high-profile presidential candidates embracing proposals like Medicare for All.

But Virginia Democrats are resisting the trend, as correspondent Matt Laslo reports from Washington.  

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New Study: The Number of Virginia Smokers is Now Below the National Average

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Virginia was once the epicenter of the smoking industry. But now, the number of people using cigarettes in Virginia is dropping. Michael Pope reports.

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Former New Orleans Mayor Visits Virginia, Talks Confederate Monuments

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Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (Credit: Creative Commons)

Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was in Richmond Tuesday. He spoke with the city’s mayor and shared some of the things he learned in his quest to remove the Confederate monuments in his city. Mallory Noe-Payne was at the event and has this report.

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Northam Vetoes Two Immigration-Related Bills

governor-northam-official-photo_800Immigration is once again in the spotlight here in Virginia, where the issue has become a dividing line between the parties. Michael Pope reports.

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Supreme Court Justices Hear Oral Arguments in Virginia’s Redistricting Case

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Are Republicans in Virginia guilty of racial gerrymandering? That’s a question currently being considered by the highest court in the land. Michael Pope is at the Supreme Court with the latest.

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“I thank God every day” — Exhibit Traces Impact of Immigrants on Virginia

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More than a million Virginians were born in another country.

 

Those immigrants are just the latest in a long line of people who have shaped the state.

 

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, their stories are being highlighted in an exhibit at the Library of Virginia.

 

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Virginia CSB’s Offer Same Day Services

StateSeal00Someone trying to get a mental health evaluation can now walk into any of the state’s community services boards and get one right away, instead of waiting days or even weeks for an appointment. It’s a dramatic shift that the state has been working towards for years. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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What to Expect When the Supreme Court Takes Up Virginia’s Redistricting Case

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Virginia’s racial gerrymandering case is headed back to the United States Supreme Court next week for yet another round of oral arguments. Michael Pope has this preview.

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Congressman Beyer: IRS Needs Additional Funding to Track Down Tax Evaders

Don_Beyer,_official_114th_Congress_photo_portrait.jpegTax season is upon us, and that means officials at the Internal Revenue Service are working overtime this time of year. But, one Virginia congressman worries that the IRS isn’t getting the funding it needs. Michael Pope reports.

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How Forests Help Mitigate Flooding

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Trees are big money in Virginia, generating some $21 billion each year, according to the state department of Forestry.

Another $6.6 billion is attributed to forest contribution to air and water quality.

 

Now, the city of Virginia Beach is looking at the value of the city’s forests as one solution to their flooding problems caused by climate change and the region’s sinking lands.

 

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Congressman Denver Riggleman is Trying to Revamp the National Flood Insurance Program

400px-Denver_Riggleman,_official_116th_Congress_photo_portraitThis week is Flood Insurance Awareness Week, and Congress is responding by taking a look at how flood insurance works — and sometimes doesn’t work. Michael Pope reports.

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Study: Virginia Bucks National Trend for School Spending

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Many school districts across the country remain largely segregated by race.

Nationally, nonwhite school districts get $23 billion less in funding than white districts do.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne tells us, Virginia actually bucks that trend.

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Virginia Weighs Sales Tax for Online “Marketplace Facilitators”

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Virginia’s sales taxes are currently stuck in the last century. But, state laws on sales taxes are about to go back to the future. Michael Pope has the story.

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Public Protest Casts a Shadow on Solar Arrays

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  A Utah company hopes to cover about 3,500 acres in Spotsylvania County with solar panels like these.   (Credit National Renewable Energy Lab)

A group called Conservatives for Clean Energy recently surveyed 500 Virginia voters and found 72% want more emphasis on solar power here.

But as developers share plans with the public, they’re finding plenty of resistance.

Sandy Hausman reports on why some people object to solar arrays and whether their fears are founded.

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What Will Virginia’s Population Look Like in 2040?

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Virginia is running up against two demographic trends that might be unwelcome news. Michael Pope explains the changes.

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VT Biologists Find Cancer Connection to Our Body Clock

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  Carla Finkielstein and Xianlin Zou compare notes in the laboratory.
(Credit Virginia Tech)

A new discovery finds that timing is everything when it comes to preventing and treating cancer.

Scientists at Virginia Tech are the first to confirm the important role our body’s internal clocks play in whether we are more prone to develop the disease.

Robbie Harris reports.

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Va. News: Public investment in privately owned rail, Coal-fired power plants go off line

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Two more coal burning power plants have gone offline in Virginia as producers move toward other fuels…and passenger rail service is growing in the state thanks largely to public investment in private companies. 

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 Lawmakers find Common Ground Fighting Financial Crime

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Washington gets a lot of bad publicity for partisan gridlock, and there’s certainly a lot of that.

But two freshman Virginia lawmakers from different parties are working together to crack down on financial crimes.

Michael Pope reports.

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How Have Local Real Estate Taxes Changed Over the Years?

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Richmond’s Mayor is proposing a hike in the city’s real estate tax. He says the money is needed for schools and infrastructure.

And as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, in recent years real estate taxes have risen across the state.

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Changes in State Law Pave the Way for more Solar Jobs

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  Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church parishioner Luc DeWulf shows Bill Larme how the solar generator meter works.  The church recently installed solar panels on its roof.
(Credit Michael Pope)

Virginia hasn’t traditionally had a great reputation for renewable sources of energy.

But the solar industry is now booming in Virginia.

Michael Pope sheds some light on the numbers.

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Democrats want to send Message with HR 1

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Virginia’s newly elected Democrats in Congress are hoping to re-write the rules for elections and campaign finance.

Michael Pope reports.

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Report Details the Potential Danger of Toxic Floodwaters

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A map of at-risk sites in the James River watershed
(Credit: Center for Progressive Reform)

In Richmond late last month, the James River flooded to more than 16 feet, its highest since 2010.

A new report looks at another danger to communities when the James floods –contaminants from industrial areas along the river.
Pamela D’Angelo reports.

 

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Scott: Raising Minimum Wage would have Postive Local Impact

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Rep. Bobby Scott

Lawmakers in Richmond rejected efforts to raise the minimum wage this year. But now Congress is considering raising the federal minimum wage.

And as Michael Pope, a Virginia congressman is leading the effort.

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Northam Makes First Public Appearances Since Scandal

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Gov. Ralph Northam

Governor Ralph Northam is slowly and quietly getting out and about.

Mallory Noe-Payne was at his latest public appearance in Richmond Tuesday and has this report.

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School Counselor Funding is On the Way, But Not Nearly Enough

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School counselors are about to get a little more money. But, as Michael Pope reports, it’s still nowhere close to the required ratio.

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After 2019 Session, Can Virginia Republicans Maintain the Majority?

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Republicans have controlled Virginia’s House of Delegates for almost two decades.  At the height of their power they outnumbered Democrats two-to-one.

But shifting demographics and a fierce backlash to President Trump has put the party on defense.

Mallory Noe-Payne has this look at what Republicans did with what some predict may be their final year in the majority.

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Virginia AG says he wants to Repair Harm from Blackface

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Attorney General Mark Herring (Credit: Commonwealth of Virginia)

Attorney General Mark Herring says he did not call on Governor Ralph Northam to resign because of blackface, but because the Governor flip-flopped on his story.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Is Aid to High-Poverty Schools Distributed Fairly?

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School divisions with students who live in poverty are about to get some extra funding. Michael Pope is breaking down the numbers.

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Va. News: Amazon impacts Real Estate cost in Northern VA, More Bears in Southwest Virginia City

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There are two places in Virginia dealing with invasive outsiders this winter. One is being inundated by bears while legions of real estate speculators have come to the other.

Those have been among the most frequently 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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More Democrats than Republicans Face Primary Challenges in 2019

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Don’t look now but another election is coming in just three months.

Michael Pope has this preview of the primary season.

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Blue Ridge Bucha Wins National Sustainability Award

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Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder of Blue Ridge Bucha, in the brewery’s taproom (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

Virginia is for drinkers – or so it seems with all the wineries, breweries and cideries that have opened here.

And when you’re tired of those beverages, a company in Waynesboro is offering an award-winning alternative.

Sandy Hausman reports on Blue Ridge Bucha.

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Analysts: Republicans Energized at Start of 2019 Campaign

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The end of the General Assembly session last weekend means the beginning of the campaign season.

Michael Pope has this preview.

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What Passed, and Didn’t, When it Comes to School Safety

 

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School safety was at the top of everyone’s minds this legislative session.

Mallory Noe-Payne has this roundup of what passed and what didn’t.

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Lawmakers Offer More Money, as Colleges Consider Tuition Increases

StateSeal00This spring, colleges in Virginia will be voting on whether to raise tuition for next school year. The latest state budget has a big incentive for them not to. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Congressman Bobby Scott Leading School Infrastructure Effort

BobbyScottNow that Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives, Tidewater-area Congressman Bobby Scott has become chairman of a key committee. And, he’s using that position to help high-poverty schools. Michael Pope has details.

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How Northam’s Eastern Shore Contributed to Scandal and Might Provide a Path Forward

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Gov. Ralph Northam

We’ve heard from many voices about the racist photos on Governor Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page and his use of blackface.

Civil Rights advocates on the Eastern Shore, where Northam grew up, say the peninsula’s history and community shed light on what happened and how Northam might move forward.

Pamela D’Angelo talked with several leaders in the African American community there.

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Telemedicine Measure Fails, But Hope Remains for Next Year

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For now, Virginia doctors will be writing prescriptions for Virginia patients. But, that could change next year. Michael Pope reports.

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Bipartisan Redistricting Amendment Still has Hurdles to Cross

2339958760_cba3816253_zPartisan gerrymandering in Virginia politics may soon be a thing of the past.

But as Michael Pope reports, the long fight to get there still has at least another year to go.

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Virginia Lawmakers Adjourn Scandal-marked 2019 Session

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It was a quiet end to anything but a quiet 2019 General Assembly session.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Va. News: Survival of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs, Halifax Schools ban cell phone recording

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New research indicates that at least one Chesapeake Bay species could benefit from warmer temperatures… and the school superintendent in Halifax County has seen more than enough student videos on social media.

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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Civil Rights Icons, Richmond 34, Honored at Capitol

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Some of the Richmond 34 are honored on the floor of the House of Delegates.

In 1960 a group of teenagers from Virginia Union University staged a sit-in at a downtown Richmond department store. Thirty-four of them were arrested.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the group was honored Friday and their records were finally expunged.

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Budget Neogitations could push General Assembly past Saturday Calendar Deadline

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Lawmakers in Richmond are putting the final touches on a budget deal as the General Assembly session comes to an end this weekend.

Michael Pope reports.

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ERA Goes Down Without a Full Vote

StateSeal00A last ditch effort to get lawmakers in Richmond to vote on the Equal Rights Amendment failed today. It ends this year’s push to make Virginia the final state needed to change the constitution. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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State Readies Review of Maternal Mortality

general assembly coverage 2019Lawmakers and administration officials in Richmond are working together to try to reduce the number of women dying in childbirth. Michael Pope reports.

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