Archive for December, 2013
New numbers from the U.S. Justice Department may come as a surprise to those who think prisons are the best response to crime. Inmate populations are down, and so are criminal convictions as Sandy Hausman reports.
You may know him as one of the History Guys on the program “Back Story”, or as the President of the University of Richmond… we’ll talk with Ed Ayers. As well as hear from a mystery man – a voice you’ve probably heard thousands of times… one that will even make you say, “have we met before?”
Virginia wildlife officials are dealing with a growing menace and don’t quite know how to address it. A feral hog population boom is prompting concern about its impact on the local ecology, agriculture, and human safety. And as Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, although some residents may be to blame, others may also be the solution.
He served as Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor for eight years and as a state lawmaker for even longer—and now Bill Bolling is saying goodbye to public office. In Part 1 of our retrospective series on the statewide officeholders, Bolling discusses his preparation for life in the private sector and the legacy he leaves behind. Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil has the details.
More than 20,000 vehicles in Virginia now bear the state’s “Don’t Tread on Me” specialty license plate….and thousands of children in the state have been exempted from the compulsory education law because of their parents’ religious beliefs. Those have been among the most clicked stories this past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. Fred Echols reports.
It is that time of year—when you just might have a Holiday Jingle Ear Worm….maybe you picked it up in a department store, or from a humming co-worker. Maybe even from this radio station. ‘Tis the season for Christmas tunes.
Connie Stevens talks with a writer from Appomatox, who is actually an expert on American Christmas music.
A new report from the University of Virginia and the Legal Aid Justice Center shows Virginia schools suspend black boys at twice the rate of whites – often for minor offenses like being loud or disruptive in class, but another approach could solve the problem while keeping students in school. Sandy Hausman has that story.
‘Twas just days before Christmas and all through Virginia, there were holiday happenings by the gazillions.
On this edition of Virginia Conversations, we’re sharing some of the many Christmas and New Year celebrations going on around the state. Join host May-Lily Lee with Caroline Gibson with the Virginia Tourism Corporation.
At Christmas time in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono embarked on their famous Peace Campaign. Soon after their ‘year of peace’ they collaborated on another song on the same theme. Robbie Harris has the story of the never before released demo recording they made.
It’s over. Senator Mark Obenshain says that seeing the votes for his opponent Mark Herring widening significantly in the statewide recount of the Attorney General’s race, he has decided to congratulate Herring and concede. The election is the first sweep of statewide offices for Democrats since 1989. Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil has more from the State Capitol.
Last year, the White House issued an executive order barring the deportation of high school students whose parents came to this country illegally. They were encouraged to apply for a special immigration status that could, ultimately, lead to citizenship. Now, seven of those students are suing to qualify for in-state tuition at Virginia’s public colleges and universities as Sandy Hausman reports.
Governor McDonnell has rolled out his final two-year state budget, which includes additional funds for major core services and other priorities. The $95.9-billion budget also injects new cash into the Rainy Day Fund and adds millions of dollars to public and higher education. Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports that the Governor used caution in forecasting revenues—due to the disproportionate impact on the state of potential changes in federal fiscal policies.
A monument to important women in Virginia history is drawing attention because of one who won’t be included….and as bills flood into Richmond for the upcoming General Assembly session one delegate is making it his business to stop some of them at the door. Those stories have been among the most clicked this week at VaNews on vpap.org. Fred Echols talks with David Poole.
Birds do it. Bees do it. No…we’re not talking about ‘falling in love,’ we’re talking about sex. Biologists have long known it plays a vital role in passing new gene combinations on to the next generation, but what’s been less clear, is exactly how that works. Now, a Virginia Tech Biologist has a new theory that challenges long held notions about natural selection and survival of the fittest. Robbie Harris has more.
On this edition of “Virginia Conversations,” taking the stress out of the holidays. Our panel of health care providers will share the symptoms, causes, and treatments for the holiday blues. From those little irritations that might ruin the day… to the overwhelming feelings that threaten take the spirit out of the season.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Richmond Behavioral Health Authority Crisis Line: 804-819-4100, www.rbha.org
Carilion CONNECT: 540-981-8181
Governor McDonnell has left a somber message with hundreds of high school students about their roles in preventing tragedies such as the Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech shootings. He also said he believes there could be a correlation between students who may seem socially inept in their teen years and those who pose risks to society later. As Tommie McNeil reports, that’s one reason why he’s asking students to be mindful of their surroundings and vigilant in their day-to-day activities.
Red bricks covered with ivy have long been seen as a part of Virginia’s charm, but scientists in Richmond warn the vines are taking over – posing a threat to other plants in the state, and they want citizens to do their part in getting ivy under control. Sandy Hausman reports.
Attorneys for former UVA lacrosse player George Huguely argued for a new trial before the Virginia Court of Appeals. They are not discussing plans to possibly take his case to a higher court if a three-judge panel in Richmond fails to grant their client’s request … following his conviction for the murder of former girlfriend Yeardley Love. As Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, Huguely attorney Paul Clement says his team is not overly confident, but the fact that the judges were asking probing questions is promising.
Governor McDonnell has unveiled a series of funding provisions for his final state budget to improve and strengthen Virginia’s mental health services. The Governor had already decided to fund these Campus Safety Task Force recommendations this summer, but their urgency was underscored by the recent death of a state senator’s son after local health officials reportedly could not find a psychiatric bed for him during a mental health crisis. And as Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, McDonnell says the reforms will continue long after he has left office.
The Governor also issued an executive order to create a new task force to fine-tune the proposals over the long term. Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe applauded the recommendations and funding— and said he will continue working to improve the system.
This week, we celebrate Emily Dickinson’s 183rd birthday. What better way to celebrate the poet than by baking her famous Black Cake? A group of Charlottesville poets-turned-bakers let us join them for their “Fourth Annual Emily Dickinson Birthday Party.”
Lilia Fuquen takes us to the party.
After scouring four centuries of Virginia history—a dozen women have been selected to be memorialized with a bronze monument on Richmond’s Capitol Square. Connie Stevens has the list in this report on the Women of Virginia Commemorative Commission.
Some lawmakers from Northern Virginia are pushing to cut back on the number of out-of-state students admitted to state universities. And descendants of those buried in a Prince William County cemetery are upset about that their loved ones will have to make way for a new football stadium. Those stories are among the most clicked over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link.
Fred Echols talks with David Poole.
Both state lawmakers and Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe say ethics reform will be a priority in January when McAuliffe takes office and the General Assembly convenes. But as Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, at least one lawmaker is warning that his colleagues should tread lightly and put a great deal of thought into their proposals … because the issue is more of a minefield than people realize.
After a unanimous vote, the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has named the university’s next president. 55-year-old Timothy Sands, the provost of Purdue University will be the 16th president of Virginia Tech.
Sands holds an endowed chair in engineering at Purdue—and specializes in the growing field of nanotechnology, with applications for many high-tech uses. He’s published more than 250 refereed papers, and has been granted 16 patents in electronic materials. Last year he served as Purdue’s acting president.
Sands begins work on June 1st, when President Charles Steger steps down. Steger announced his retirement last spring—he’s been president of Virginia Tech since 2000.
Some 238 candidates were considered in the 6-month search to head the one-point-two billion dollar academic enterprise. Virginia Tech now offers 215 degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $450 million.
Focusing on life, as we face death. An open and frank discussion of the comfort and dignity hospice care gives the dying. Host May-Lily Lee talks with the Director of Edmarc Hospice for Children, as well as the Clinical Director at Thomas Palliative Care Service at the VCU Medical Center.
Virginia Association for Hospices & Palliative Care : http://www.virginiahospices.org/, 804-740-1344
Get Palliative Care: http://www.getpalliativecare.org/
Virginia Cancer Pain Hotline: 866-990-4878
Edmarc Hospice for Children: http://www.edmarc.org/
These days, there’s no shortage of information available on the Internet. Everybody and anybody can offer an opinion. But how do you determine what’s valuable and what isn’t? Robbie Harris tells us about a research team at Virginia Tech, that’s come up with a way to cut through the clutter out there.
Some members of the State Board of Elections have again raised the issue of potential vote-counting irregularities in Fairfax County, but this time a major focus was on which provisional ballots should have been counted. While the entire Fairfax Electoral Board was unable to attend today’s state meeting to explain, one member traveled to Richmond to begin a discussion about what happened. And as Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, their differences could all boil down to how the state law is interpreted.
Proponents of coal are warning the shifting energy economy in the southwestern part of Virginia could ripple across the rest of the commonwealth. Matt Laslo reports opponents say they’re ringing false alarm bells.
The Supreme Court is now weighing a case that could put an end to limits on individual campaign contributions. Backers of the idea argue that as long as the donation is disclosed, the risk of corruption is minimal, but another view has emerged from the University of Virginia Law School, as Sandy Hausman reports.
With the relatives gone, and the turkey and leftovers digested, this might be a good time to kick back and catch a video. One new release is short, free, downloadable, entertaining, informative, and all about your neighbors in the Commonwealth. “The Virginia Indians: Meet the Tribes” video is not only a new classroom resource that’s making the rounds, but it could also inspire some outdoor event planning. Tommie McNeil reports.
You can find out more about the project here.