Archive for August, 2013
Virginia Conversations: Race for Governor
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia Conversations on August 30, 2013
On this edition of “Virginia Conversations” we’re talking about the race to get into the Governor’s Mansion. We’ll hear from Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Republican Ken Cuccinelli, and Libertarian Robert Sarvis, all sharing their vision for Virginia. They discuss education, transportation, ethics reform laws, and the latest from the campaign trail. May-Lily Lee hosts.
VA Tax Credit Supports Private School Scholarships
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia's News on August 29, 2013
A new program is rolling out that provides tax credits for scholarship donations to private schools in Virginia. Passed by the 2012 Virginia General Assembly Session, The Education Improvements Scholarships Tax Credit Program has significant support from non-public, faith-based schools. Tab O’Neal reports.
More information about the tax credit program is available here.
Virginia’s Civil Rights Movement
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 28, 2013
While the nation reflects on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington, a Virginia historian looks at the Commonwealth’s role in the civil rights movement and where it stands today. Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil has more from the State Capitol.
Virginia Lawmakers Weigh In: Sequestration & Syria
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia's News on August 28, 2013
Potential U-S military engagement in Syria is sparking a debate among the region’s lawmakers over whether sequestration is impacting the U-S military’s ability to respond to conflicts abroad. Matt Laslo has the details.
Health Department’s Online Health Survey
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 27, 2013
Your responses—or lack of participation—in a new round of surveys by the Virginia Department of Health could very well impact what kind of services are available in your area. As Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, while VDH still conducts surveys by telephone, the Commonwealth will begin gauging health needs via the Web through a new pilot program.
Environmental Groups Push for Sustainable Energy Sources
On September first, Dominion Power is required to submit a report to the state, explaining how it will provide electricity over the next fifteen years, but even before that happens, a coalition of environmental groups is demanding the utility use more sustainable energy sources to generate power. Sandy Hausman has that story.
Exhibit Spotlights Virginia’s Slavery History
The National Gallery of Art is running an exhibit connected with the anniversary of the March on Washington. As Matt Laslo reports, the exhibit delves into Virginia’s sordid history with slavery.
Election Season: House of Delegates
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 26, 2013
The Virginia gubernatorial campaign has garnered most of the media attention this year. But also on the ballot are elections for all 100 seats of the House of Delegates. And as Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, many more Delegate seats are contested this year than the last time House candidates ran two years ago.
Schools Group Claims Legislation Violates State Constitution
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia's News on August 26, 2013
Virginia’s School Board Association and the Norfolk Board of Education are suing the state to stop implementation of a new law that would allow Richmond to take over local schools when they consistently fail Standards of Learning tests. Sandy Hausman has that story.
VaNews for 08.26.13
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in VaNews from VPAP on August 26, 2013
Virginia Democrats have a placed an order – a big one – for voter information from local registrars around the state….and Tesla Motors is still trying to get permission to sell its electric cars out of showrooms in Virginia. Those stories have been among the most clicked over the past week at Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link. Fred Echols talks with David Poole.
VaNews is a free public service of the Virginia Public Access Project and can be found at vpap.org.
Private Infomation Mistakenly Shared
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 25, 2013
The Health Flexible Spending Account records of 13,000 Virginia state employees were erroneously sent last month to the wrong human resources or payroll officials … who should have received information only for their own locations. An insurance subcontractor electronically distributed the confidential health records, which included the employees’ names and Social Security numbers. As Anne Marie Morgan reports, the exposure of private information was not due to a hacker—but was instead caused by human error.
Virginia Conversations: Talking History….and Food
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia Conversations on August 23, 2013
On this edition of Virginia Conversations, you may know him as one of the History Guys on “Back Story” heard on public radio, or as the President of the University of Richmond… but Ed Ayers is making a little history of his own with a recent visit to the White House. We’ll tell you why. Plus Williamsburg’s Chef K shares some fat-reducing recipe tips with host May-Lily Lee.
Showing the Love for Old School Virginia
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 22, 2013
The Virginia Tourism Corporation has taken a small investment and not only won a national award, but turned it into what could potentially be a huge boost to the state—especially the most economically distressed communities.
As Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, the Best Advertising Mercury Award from U.S. Travel was given for the Commonwealth’s unique “Old School Virginia” campaign.
Research on Forensic Dye
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia's News on August 21, 2013
When a woman reports a rape, she is given a forensic evidence exam–known informally, as a rape kit. But the rape kits used by hospitals all over the country are using a technique that puts women with dark skin at a disadvantage. Allison Quantz reports.
Confederate Flag to Fly over Richmond Interstate: Protesters Petition
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 21, 2013
A Confederate history organization says it still has plans to erect its battle flag along I-95 next month despite criticism from plenty of Virginians, including the state NAACP. But a spokesman for “Virginia Flaggers” says the group is not doing anything wrong. As Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, members insist that all they’re doing is promoting a piece of their heritage that’s been gradually etched out of American history.
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia's News on August 20, 2013
A special panel of the Freedom of Information Advisory Council has declined to endorse legislation to require the State Corporation Commission to comply with many provisions of Virginia’s open-government laws. The Rights and Remedies subcommittee took up the issue at the request of a Fairfax Delegate who believes that many of the SCC’s activities are too shielded from the public. As Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, supporters of the requirement say they’re seeking a middle ground that would still safeguard the SCC’s regulatory activities.
Some Dismiss Governor McDonnell’s Boast
The governor’s speech was not well received in certain circles. Democrats and economists said McDonnell should not claim credit for low unemployment or another budget surplus as Sandy Hausman reports.
Commonwealth Ends Fiscal Year with Budget Surplus
Governor McDonnell has announced a 585-million-dollar surplus for the state fiscal year that ended in June. The General Assembly’s money committees greeted him with warm applause before he outlined the condition of the Commonwealth’s budget outlook. But as Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, the good fiscal news couldn’t quite obscure the other news that’s haunting him.
Virginia Nursing Home Faces Possible Medicare Termination
Recently a jury in Spotsylvania County awarded a family more than $1.4 million dollars in a negligence suit against a local nursing home. The facility has a history of safety violations, and as Rebecca Blatt reports, federal regulators say the problems continue to persist…
While voter turnout for the last three Virginia gubernatorial elections was dismal, it’s possible that negative campaigning and scandals could discourage even more voters from going to the polls in November. Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil discusses the possibility with a political analyst—who believes the implications of the negative campaigns are greater than even low voter turnout.
VaNews for 08.19.13
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in VaNews from VPAP on August 19, 2013
An English professor is parting ways with Virginia Military Institute but not right away…and suggestions and denials of conflict of interest on the Henrico County School Board. Those stories have been among the most read this past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s VA News Link, Fred Echols talks with David Poole.
VaNews is a free public service of the Virginia Public Access Project and can be found at vpap.org.
A Virginia-based singer-songwriter has found musical inspiration in a rather unlikely place: The Metro system.
Jason Mendelson just released the fourth volume of his “MetroSongs” series — all featuring songs inspired by different Metro stations. Rebecca Sheir met with him and his band, The Open Doors, and asked how the whole “MetroSongs” venture began.
“MetroSongs Volume 4: Multi-tracking” is out now.
Jobs & Taxes at the Center of Debate
With Congress in recess for the month President Obama is preparing to continue pressuring Republicans to work with him on job creation. Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation say that while his speeches rev up his base he still isn’t trying to work with the G-O-P. Matt Laslo reports from Washington, D.C.
Virginia Conversations: Talking with Terry Gross
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia Conversations on August 16, 2013
Before Terry Gross takes the stage at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville September 26th, Virginia Conversations host May-Lily Lee turns the table on the award-winning interviewer by asking Terry the questions.
Join us for a lively hour on this edition of Virginia Conversations.
For more information about her Paramount Theater appearance, click here .
Counting Every Vote
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 16, 2013
Virginians who undervote or overvote but leave before the machine accepts their final ballots will be able to get some extra assistance from local election officials. That’s due to a new regulation adopted this week by the State Board of Elections. And as Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, the extra step may not make much of a difference in lopsided elections, but it will help every vote get counted in the close ones.
Candidate Cuccinelli Announces Education Plan
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 13, 2013
If voters can wade through the scandals facing Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe and his GOP rival, Ken Cuccinelli, they’ll find substantive events where both candidates present ideas for the Commonwealth’s future. And as Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, each contender made big announcements Tuesday that they hoped would help put the issues marring their campaigns behind them.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Surveys Voters
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has released the results of a poll showing strong support for clean-up efforts and little desire for delay. Two pollsters who work for Republicans and Democrats questioned more than 600 people. Sandy Hausman reports on what they found.
Protests Pressure Lawmakers over Immigration
Congress is gone for the month of August so local immigration advocates are planning to take their fight for reform to Republican’s district offices in Virginia. Matt Laslo has the details.
While Americans are growing more health-conscious and monitoring what they eat, the latest trend is becoming more aware of foods containing Genetically Modified Organisms. But as Tommie McNeil reports, a Virginia nutritional counselor says GMO labeling is not so obvious in the packaging, and more foods contain GMOs than one might suspect.
Children & Mental Illness
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 12, 2013
One in five Virginia children suffer from mental disorders—and in about half of those cases, it’s so severe that it’s disruptive to the home and school life. And while incidents like Sandy Hook and the Virginia Tech shootings have brought more attention to the issue, parents of children with these disorders say it should NOT take another tragedy for government officials to finally respond to their calls for additional help. Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil talked with one of those parents, who tells her story.
A food desert is a neighborhood with no supermarkets – a place where you can’t buy fresh fruits or vegetables. The small corner stores carry canned and dried food that keeps well on the shelf but is less nutritious than fresh produce, often high in fat and sugar. For a city of its size, Richmond, Virginia is the worst food desert in the nation, but an effort is underway to fix that problem. Sandy Hausman has the story.
VaNews for 08.12.13
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in VaNews from VPAP on August 12, 2013
Prescription drug abuse continues to plague far Southwestern Virginia and drivers entering Richmond will soon be greeted by a super-sized Confederate flag.
Those stories have been among the most clicked over the past week on Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link at vpap.org. Fred Echols talks with David Poole.
VaNews is a free public service of the Virginia Public Access Project and can be found at vpap.org.
Virginia Conversations: Late Summer Gardening
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia Conversations on August 9, 2013
All the rain this summer may have put a damper on your backyard garden, but it’s not too late for another round of planting. Our panel of horticulturalists share their advice on late summer gardens. May-Lily Lee hosts.
Protecting Trade Secrets
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 8, 2013
Virginia inventors, entrepreneurs, and university researchers could get additional state protection for their trade secrets under proposals being discussed by a General Assembly panel. The plan would need to mesh with federal policies on patents, which take precedence over state law. But as Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, lawmakers not only hope to make the Commonwealth an innovation-friendly state …but want to protect inventors against frivolous litigators called “patent trolls.”
Ancient Whale Skull Found at Robert E.Lee’s VA Birthplace
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia's News on August 8, 2013
The recent discovery of a prehistoric whale skeleton along the shore of the Potomac River may help scientists understand life and climate change millions of years ago during the Miocene Epoch. The dig lies 150 feet below ancient cliffs at Virginia’s Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, the birthplace of General Robert E. Lee.
Wading along this pristine shoreline, over fallen trees and under ancient cliffs Jon Bachman, who works at Stratford Hall was with a group of scientists in June when he found the 15 million-year-old whale skull.
“We’re walking along the beach when I notice something that looks like a gray hubcap sticking out about 3 ½ feet from where the cliffs meet the beach,” said Bachman.
The Calvert Marine Museum across the river in Maryland was called and a team of scientists and students led by paleontologist Stephen Godfrey removed the 6 ½ foot-long baleen whale skull last month. Now they’re back for the 25 foot skeleton.
“These cliffs give us a portal into that 10 million year block of time that’s represented by the depth of the sediments here from about 18 million years ago to about 8 million years ago. So as close as to Washington we know what creatures were living here at that time,” said Godfrey.
The discovery was kept quiet until the prized whale skull was removed. Stratford Hall didn’t want patrons near the unstable cliffs. There was also talk of fossil raiders. John Nance, another paleontologist with the Calvert Museum said it was about preserving the site.
“Because we don’t want to have a lot of people coming around and possibly disturbing it. It holds a lot of scientific value but on the market these bones wouldn’t sell for very much at all. Big sharks teeth. That’s what sells,” said Nance.
The skull and some of the bones are now on display at the Calvert Maritime Museum.
–by Pamela D’Angelo
You can watch a video of the excavation, posted by John Nance at the Calvert Marine Museum.
Cracking Down on Computer Crimes
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia's News on August 7, 2013
A bill that would have helped crackdown on Internet predators that was shot down during the last General Assembly session is now being restructured so that it has a chance of survival next session. As Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, the bill’s co-sponsor believes the measure would give law enforcement a much-needed tool to pursue and prosecute those who might otherwise get away with the unthinkable.
Ethics Issues in the Spotlight
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 6, 2013
State Republicans are responding to a call by one of their own for a special session on ethics reform in light of the scandals now plaguing both the Governor’s office and the gubernatorial campaign. Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil has more details from the State Capitol.
Special Training for Elections
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 5, 2013
College students and others who plan to register more than two dozen new voters for the November election will need to go through special training before they can. That’s because of a change this year in state law, which also requires those who conduct voter registration drives to sign up with the State Board of Elections or local election offices. And as Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, the new training also must be state-certified.
Shape Note Singing: Shenandoah Harmony
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia's News on August 5, 2013
Since the mid 18th century, Americans throughout New England and the South have been gathering for shape note singing, a form of a capella sung mostly from a popular tune book called The Sacred Harp. Now there’s a new tune book that captures some of Virginia’s musical past.
VaNews for 08.05.13
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in VaNews from VPAP on August 5, 2013
Speculation about possible changes to Virginia’s self defense laws and how some children in the Commonwealth are home schooled with no state involvement of any kind were the topics of two stories that were among the most read at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org this past week. Fred Echols reports.
Redskins Training Camp Thrills Spectators
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Daily Capitol News Updates on August 2, 2013
With excited, overflow crowds in attendance, the Washington Redskins start week 3 of working out at their new training camp in Richmond. Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil spoke with ‘Skins General Manager Bruce Allen about how things are going in the new venue.
Virginia Conversations: Two Virginia Women Discuss Business
Posted by Virginia Public Radio in Virginia Conversations on August 2, 2013
On this edition of Virginia Conversations, we meet Sheila Johnson, co-founder of the Black Entertainment Television network. We also have a memorial to Rowena Fullinwider, who grew a small Norfolk bakery into a brand known worldwide. She recently passed away.
May-Lily Lee talks with both women.