Archive for November, 2015
As Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring kicks off a study aimed at encouraging more minorities to enter law enforcement in the Commonwealth one of the Southside Virginia cities set to take part is dealing with severe financial problems that could make recruiting even more difficult. Fred Echols reports.
Virginia’s congressional delegation is wrestling with how the federal government can help states combat the heroin epidemic spreading across the east coast. Matt Laslo reports from the Capitol.
As we’re in the season of holiday celebrations at home, hundreds of families in Virginia fear they may be losing their homes because local inspectors say they’re not safe. Sandy Hausman reports that the city of Richmond has begun inspecting trailer parks – ordering residents to make repairs or move out.
Virginia was the first state in the nation to require that kids entering the sixth grade be vaccinated against human papilloma — a virus that causes cervical cancer in women and throat cancer in men. Parents can opt out of that requirement, and it turns out many of them do. Virginia ranks 44th in the nation when it comes to HPV vaccination. A team of nurses at the University of Virginia is looking at that problem and making recommendations, as Sandy Hausman reports.
Known for years as the Church of the Confederacy, St Paul’s Episcopal Church is just across the street from Capitol Square in Richmond. But the church has announced steps this week to remove certain images of the Confederate Flag from inside the sanctuary. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, it’s part of an effort at racial reconciliation.
Two advocacy groups are asking Virginia to streamline the process for changing gender identification on birth certificates…and Lynchburg saw a record number of votes for write-in candidates on Election Day. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VA News link on VPAP.org. More from Fred Echols.
As Virginia considers allowing drilling for oil off its coast, scientists at the University of Mary Washington are doing basic research that could prove valuable in the event of a spill. Sandy Hausman reports on what they hope to learn after two weeks of trolling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Virginia Attorney General’s Office is developing a plan to increase diversity in police departments around the state beginning with a pilot program in Danville and Martinsville. Fred Echols reports.
It looks like a strong Holiday buying season is in the forecast for Virginia. That’s according to the latest Virginia Consumer Sentiment report from the Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion Research. Kelsea Pieters reports.
About 2,000 college students in Virginia won’t have to pay back some of their student loans, thanks to a state settlement with the Education Management Corporation. That company owns a handful of for-profit colleges in Virginia that have been under investigation for lying to students about job placement rates and graduates’ salaries. Mallory Noe-Payne filed this report.
Although segregation ended formally in the United States more than fifty years ago, there are places right here in Virginia that are still segregated, and aren’t likely to change anytime soon. Those places are cemeteries. After integration, historically black cemeteries around Virginia fell to the wayside, often unkempt, uncared for, and forgotten. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Richmond has grand plans for building up more public art in the city. Just this past weekend a two-day free art exhibit outside the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts drew more than 20,ooo visitors. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports it’s just one example of what the city is hoping to do more of…
If you thought the threat of a government shutdown was taken off the table, think again. Matt Laslo has this story from the Capitol on how Virginia may once again get caught in the crosshairs of a partisan battle in Washington.
From neglect to the rise of Netflix to general lack of funds, several of the opulent, old movie palaces across the Commonwealth have closed or have been repurposed altogether. But Kelsea Pieters looks at two of Virginia’s historic theaters that have survived – and thrive from support of those in their communities.
A Virginia small business is trying a new approach to raising capital, soliciting donations on the internet…and a York County school board election illustrates how important one vote can be. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link from vpap.org. More from Fred Echols.
In 1967, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service created the first endangered species list, the Eastern Shore’s Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel was there among better known species like the bald eagle and Florida manatee. A combination of clearcutting of old growth forests and hunting contributed to its near extinction. Today, the Service officially removed the squirrel from its federally protected designation. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
After months of contentious hearings, the Richmond County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 to rezone a one-thousand acre pristine tract of land along the Rappahannock River. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
In Virginia, two men accused of trying to buy weapons for use in a white supremacist plot were in court today for a preliminary hearing. From the courthouse in Richmond, Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
A third defendant, Charles D. Halderman, is set to appear tomorrow (Friday) on a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery.
While farmed oysters are big business in Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay wild oyster is still struggling with bay pollution and two diseases, harmless to humans, but fatal to oysters. Since the late 1980s, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science has conducted annual surveys to check on how wild oysters are coping. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
Last month, Dominion Power offered its annual report to the state – explaining how it intends to supply affordable and reliable energy over the next 15 years. Sandy Hausman reports that the company may be leaning toward expanding its nuclear capacity.
Interest in the whole ‘farm to table’ movement is growing. But one aspect of it continues to be controversial in Virginia; direct farm sales of unpasteurized milk, also known as raw milk. Some say it should be a personal choice. And others warn, it’s a question of public safety. Robbie Harris has more.
Governor McAuliffe traveled to the Northern Neck this week to fire up the Virginia Oyster Trail. That’s an initiative he announced last year that connects 250 miles of seafood producers, restaurants, wineries, craft breweries and artisans around the Chesapeake Bay’s rural communities. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
Information on watermen heritage tours, as well as restaurants, hotels and vineyards on the trail can be found at virginiaoystertrail.com
Last week the U-S House was able to pass a long term transportation bill which has businesses across the commonwealth feeling optimistic. Capitol Hill reporter Matt Laslo reports that people are hoping it marks a new day for a gridlocked Washington.
Lawmakers in Richmond received a report today, which finds Virginia is likely spending millions in state-funded healthcare for people who don’t actually qualify for the benefits. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.
Virginia’s favorite NFL team is making the case that its nickname and logo are no more offensive than many others that are allowed to stand….and some international students at Virginia Tech are among those accused of using fraudulent test scores to obtain student visas. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.
Dominion Power is starting a new project, one that will make its power lines safer to large birds. Crews have begun an effort across the state to slowly change the way power lines are structured. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Businesses owned by women in Virginia are actually growing faster than other businesses in the state… that’s according to a new survey released this week. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, women-owned businesses make up just over a third of all companies in Virginia.
Virginia’s election board is still crunching the numbers for 2015, but if you look at the last ten elections in non-presidential years, voter turnout has been under 40%. That number could increase if Americans were allowed to do what Estonians have been doing for a decade – voting online. Sandy Hausman reports on how it works, and how a country of 1-point-3 million people is pioneering all kinds of cyber services.
A round-up of election results for Virginia’s state senate: Republicans maintained control. No incumbents lost. Any seat that was held by a Republican is still held by a Republican. And the same goes for Democrats. Nothing flipped. And, as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, that’s despite big money being spent.
State and local election officials are hoping to see a lot of people at the polls Tuesday. But must experts believe only about 23-to-29 percent of those registered will vote will show up. Some have already voted…they cast absentee ballots. Joe Staniunas has more.
The State Board of Elections says it’s received more than 55,000 absentee ballots so far. That’s close to the same number that came in four years ago, in the last off-year election like this.
This Election Day voters are deciding which party will run the Virginia Senate for the next four years. Republicans hold a 21-to-19 majority but Democrats can take control by gaining one seat since they have the tiebreaking vote in the person of Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam. With Republicans likely to maintain a large majority in the House of Delegates and Democrat Terry McAuliffe sitting in the governor’s mansion today’s outcome in the senate will have enormous implications for the direction of state government in the immediate future. More now from Fred Echols.
About 60 black students from middle schools and high schools throughout Central Virginia gathered recently for the second EMBODI conference in Charlottesville. Jordy Yager was able to attend the day of workshops for this report on how local African-American leaders are striving to empower the next generation of young black men.
Some Northern Virginia dogs have gone on record – sort of – with their opinions about politicians in their neighborhoods….and the city Norfolk is looking to turn the problem of rising sea levels into an economic development opportunity. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.