Archive for December, 2015

Tangier Island Promised a Jetty – More Needs to Happen to Thwart Erosion

IMG_9860Tucked into Governor McAuliffe’s 2016 budget is $268,000 to build a badly-needed jetty on Tangier Island out in the Chesapeake Bay. The project took three years for the Army Corps of Engineers to study and will take another two years before it will be built. Islanders say they need it now —  and that more needs to be done to save the island. Pamela D’Angelo reports from Tangier.

1 Comment

Out-of-State Concealed Gun Permits Rejected in VA

Guns Creative Commons

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Gun owners from out of state will find it harder to carry a concealed weapon in Virginia, beginning this February. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says the state will no longer recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states whose standards aren’t as strict as Virginia’s.

Leave a comment

VCU Students Want a More Diverse Faculty

VCU Christopher Brooks

Christopher Brooks in his office on the VCU campus.

Virginia Commonwealth University is one of the state’s most diverse four-year colleges. But if you’re a student there you may not see that diversity in who’s teaching you. While 15% of VCU students are African-American, only 5% of full-time faculty are. Students are demanding that VCU fix that problem– and fast. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

Leave a comment

Congress Passes Omnibus Budget Bill

Congress04Virginia lawmakers were divided on the legislation to fund the government. Matt Laslo reports from Washington that the legislation has a lot in it for the commonwealth.


Leave a comment

VaNews: Residency Requirements, Presidential Primary

VPAPnewPetersburg City Council has overwhelmingly approved a new residency requirement despite having been told the policy is illegal…and the Virginia GOP is considering whether to ask voters for their phone numbers and email addresses when they cast ballots in the party’s presidential primary. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link at

Leave a comment

Governor Pushes for Medicaid Expansion Again

GovMedicaid ProposalVirginia is one of 20 states that have opted to not expand Medicaid using money the federal government is providing through the Affordable Care Act. It’s been the source of deep discord between Virginia’s Democratic Governor and its Republican legislature, for a couple of years.  But as part of a big budget proposal, Governor McAuliffe threw his hat into the ring for one more Medicaid fight. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

Leave a comment

Gov. McAuliffe Unveils Budget Plan for VA

Gov Budget 01Governor Terry McAuliffe has presented his full two-year budget proposal to a select group of finance leaders from Virginia’s legislature at the state capitol. Following a surplus last year, the governor’s budget is the most expensive in Virginia history – topping $100 billion. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

Leave a comment

Gov. Proposes Funding Increase to Hire More K-12 Teachers

Teacher Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons

Part of Governor McAuliffe’s overall proposed budget includes more than $1 billion dollars allotted for education. Kelsea Pieters has reaction from John O’Neil, with the Virginia Education Association.


Leave a comment

Governor Terry McAuliffe Reveals Proposed Higher Education Funding

highered-2Since the recession state funding for higher education across the country has plummeted, including here in Virginia, where it remains a quarter below what it was before the recession. Governor McAuliffe revealed details today about how he’d like to fund higher education in the state for the next two years. Mallory Noe-Payne reports from Richmond.

Leave a comment

Prison Alternative Teaches New Ways of Thinking


The Day Reporting Center, operated by a for-profit contractor called GEO Reentry, is designed to keep non-violent criminals from returning to jail. CREDIT GEO REENTRY

Both U.S. Senators from Virginia have now signed onto a bill that would scale back punishments for certain drug offenders, giving  judges more  discretion in sentencing.  The measure could also reduce the number of people going back to jail by promoting community-based programs designed to change the way criminals think.  Sandy Hausman reports on one such program – the first of its kind in Virginia.  The Day Reporting Center in Richmond is located at the end of a long hallway in the city’s old public safety building.


Leave a comment

On the Chesapeake Bay, Realities of Climate Change Aren’t Far From Washington


Earlier this year President Obama traveled to Alaska to highlight what he called the frontline of climate change. Earlier this year President Obama traveled to Alaska to highlight what he called the frontline of climate change. But a report published in Nature, says Virginia’s Tangier Island, just 90 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., on the Chesapeake Bay, may force islanders to leave during the next 25 years. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

Leave a comment

VaNews: Most Read Stories

VPAPnewThere’s a petition in Henrico County to remove of the name one of Virginia’s most famous segregationists from a public school…and the Virginia half of the city of Bristol says it can’t afford to help the Tennessee half with some civic promotion efforts. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on Fred Echols reports.

Leave a comment

Lawmakers Ask Feds to Stop Atlantic Oil Exploration


Natural Resources Defense Council

Opposition is building to oil exploration off Virginia’s coast, and environmentalists hope a letter sent yesterday will delay noisy testing that could harm marine mammals and fish. Sandy Hausman has that story.




Leave a comment

Why Gov. McAuliffe May Want Corporate Tax Cut


Professor Ray Scheppach at UVA’s Batten School of Public Leadership and Policy
Credit:University of Virginia

Governor Terry McAuliffe says he’ll call for a cut in corporate taxes in the budget he submits to lawmakers later this month – a move he claims would attract more foreign companies to Virginia.  That sparked criticism from some Democrats who think the state needs that revenue for schools and other social services. At the University of Virginia, one expert says taxes are rarely a big deal for firms choosing a new location.  Sandy Hausman spoke with him and filed this report.

Leave a comment

Memorializing Lumpkin’s Jail in Richmond

Lumpkins 02

Marked by the Richmond Slave Trail marker, the site is difficult to find and not well-marked otherwise.

In recent months, Richmonders have been deciding how best to memorialize the city’s difficult history with race and slavery. Between state and city funds there are almost 20 million dollars to spend on a slavery museum and improvements to the city’s Slave Trail.

But, as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the conversation about how best to spend that money hasn’t been easy.

Leave a comment

Piedmont Environmental Council Celebrates New Home


This historic home of Civil War officer John Mosby now serves as headquarters for the Piedmont Environmental Council.

As the suburbs of Washington grew, people who loved the rural feel of neighboring Virginia counties were alarmed.  Residents of Albemarle County were equally worried as Charlottesville began to expand.  Today, a group called the Piedmont Environmental Council has emerged as a champion of farmland, forests and historic sites in nine counties south and west of D.C.  It’s also become a model for preservationists nationwide as Sandy Hausman reports.

The Piedmont Environmental Council hosts an open house Friday, December 11 from 10:30 to 7 at its newly renovated headquarters on Horner Street in Warrenton.


Leave a comment

Governor McAuliffe Announces Plan to Issue $2.5 Billion in Bonds, Mostly to State Colleges

unnamed (1)It’s a budget year in Virginia — meaning during this year’s legislative session the Governor and General Assembly will work to craft how the state spends its money for the next two years. Governor Terry McAuliffe won’t reveal his proposed budget until next week, but Wednesday in Richmond he did announce a plan to issue two-and-a-half billion dollars in bonds. Money from those bond sales will largely go to the state’s colleges. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

Leave a comment

The Paychecks of College Presidents

The Chronicle of Higher Education is out with its annual list of what private college presidents earn, and three Virginia executives are in the top 100. Sandy Hausman has that story.

Leave a comment

Overhauling ‘No Child Left Behind’

School BusVirginia educators and state leaders are soon expected to be able to exert more control over local schools across the commonwealth. Matt Laslo reports on the effort speeding through Congress to unwind the controversial No Child Left Behind act. 

Leave a comment

Think Tank Considers Future of Richmond

Richmond ForumFor the past five years a think-tank in Richmond has been researching, crunching numbers and collecting interviews to answer the question: What does the region’s future look?  Last week, for the first time, they delivered some of their findings to a packed auditorium at the Richmond Times Dispatch.  Mallory Noe-Payne was there and files this report.


Leave a comment

VaNews: Caught on Camera, Mistakes Follow

VPAPnewIn Virginia you can have photographic evidence of cars illegally passing school buses but still not be able to prosecute the drivers…and a bill to introduced in the General Assembly would allow some convicted drug offenders to clear their records. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link at Fred Echols has more.

Leave a comment

Virginia Politicians Begin Eyeing 2017

download (2)Politicians in Richmond are already gearing up for 2017 elections — Delegate Rob Bell announced Thursday afternoon that he’s running for Virginia Attorney General.  Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

Leave a comment

For Some Collegiate School Students, Recent Terrorist Attacks Hit Close to Home

orig_photo97278_2292215Although recent international terrorist attacks have shocked the world, they’ve had little impact on the day-to-day lives of most Virginians. But for one private school outside of Richmond, incidents of global terrorism have hit close to home. Mallory Noe-Paye reports.

Leave a comment

Reston at Fifty: Walkable, Sociable and Expensive

RestonYesterday, we shared with you the story of Tysons Corner – a fast-growing suburb in Northern Virginia, grappling with traffic, noise and sidewalks that don’t always connect.  Ironically, it’s evolving next to one of the nation’s first planned communities – a place designed to avoid those very problems and to offer instant community.  Reston is the subject of a new documentary which had its debut at the Virginia Film Festival.  Sandy Hausman reports on why Reston was once a revolutionary place, and why it’s now a model for other suburbs. 

Leave a comment

Writing Their Way Out of Prison

three_writersWith more than thirty thousand people in prison, Virginia’s Department of Corrections is the most expensive agency in the state.  To cut costs and assure public safety, officials need ways  to assure that inmates don’t go back to a life of crime when they are released.  At Virginia Commonwealth University, one professor is promoting a novel idea – helping inmates to write their way out.  Sandy Hausman has that story.

Leave a comment

Richmond Outranks Spots in France, Portugal as One of 2016’s “Best Places to Travel”

12241332_1506310463030018_4843991885483095372_nRichmond is making headlines, placing in a top spot on “Travel and Leisure Magazine’s” annual “Best Places to Travel List.” Among Caribbean beaches and European canals, Virginia’s capitol finds itself in good company — the magazine picked out 50 cities from around the world, and Richmond placed 3rd. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

Leave a comment

Climate Change Debate Repurcussions will be Felt Across the Commonwealth

capitol_dome__washington_dc_0Virginia Republicans are trying to derail the global climate change talks in Paris. Matt Laslo reports on the battle raging in Washington that will be felt across Virginia. 

Leave a comment

Heroin Documentary Hopes to Raise Awareness

drug addiction on the old wooden background. White pill, syringeHeroin drug use is up in the state of Virginia. In fact, more Virginians died of overdose from heroin and prescription drugs than car crashes in 2014. The Attorney General’s Office is hoping a new film premiering today can help. Mallory Noe Payne reports.

Leave a comment

Finding Remedies for Suburban Sprawl

tysons_cornerTysons Corner is a model for what urban planners call an Edge City – located outside Washington, D.C., it’s the commercial center for Fairfax County, with two major shopping malls and countless corporate headquarters.  This year, the Metro arrived there, sparking new residential development and the prospect of much more pedestrian traffic – people walking to and from the train.  That prompted a team from the University of Virginia to launch a walking study of the place – hoping to document just how hard it is to get around Tysons on foot or bicycle, and to explore possible solutions.  Sandy Hausman tagged along and filed this report.


Virginia’s Growing Oyster Industry Tempts Poachers


Virginia is touting itself as the East Coast oyster capitol, last year harvesting more than half-a-million wild and farmed oysters valued at nearly $34 million. The growing industry is making it more tempting to poachers. Pamela D’Angleo reports from the Rappahannock River.

Leave a comment