Archive for February, 2016

Super Tuesday: What’s At Stake

NPR Elections 2016Super Tuesday IS a big deal, but it’s not necessarily the be-all-end-all for presidential contenders. While this may explain why some candidates have not dropped out of the race, determining how delegates are tallied is complex—with 595 delegates at stake for Republicans and 1,004 for Democrats in a single day.    And as Tommie McNeil reports, the Super Tuesday states and territory include Virginia—for both political parties. 


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Super Tuesday: How to Vote

VoteHereTuesday is an election day — Virginians’ turn to get their say in who should be the Republican or Democratic nominee for President. For those who still have basic questions, Mallory Noe-Payne lays out how to vote.

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VaNews: Airport Parking, Fantasy Sports

VPAPnewNorfolk’s airport is among the largest in the country to have no access by public transportation…and Virginia is on the brink of becoming the first state to license online fantasy sports games.  Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews on Fred Echols has more.

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Super Tuesday in Virginia

SuperTuesdayVirginia is one of a dozen ‘Super Tuesday’ states voting in their Republican contests tomorrow.  One the Democratic side, we’re one of eleven. And if you’re wondering if your vote counts in such a big election, here’s why it does.  Robbie Harris reports.





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State Snake Sliding Through General Assembly

Virginia has a state bird… a state tree… but what about a state snake? Lawmakers this year have made a bit of a surprising pick — the Eastern Garter Snake.  As Mallory Noe-Payne reports the choice might have more to do with the snake’s main proponent, than the animal itself.


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Lawmakers on Court, the Basketball Court

Cap Classic 02In a break from legislative action, Virginia’s lawmakers took to the court Tuesday night — the basketball court. An annual fundraiser for Virginia Commonwealth University’s cancer center, the Capitol Classic throws together politicians, lobbyists, and the Governor’s staff in friendly competition. Mallory Noe-Payne was there and filed this report.

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Counting Eagles

Eagle Den Smith Creative Commons

Creative Commons/Den Smith

A yearly consensus is about to begin in waterways leading to the Chesapeake Bay.. a count of nesting bald eagle pairs. There was a time when their very survival in Virginia was in doubt, but as Evan Jones reports, their numbers now may be nearing the saturation point.

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Multiple Tornadoes Confirmed in Virginia

NWS logoThe day after Virginia was battered by at least three confirmed tornadoes, Governor Terry McAuliffe visited the hardest-hit regions of the state to assess the damage.

The governor visited Appomattox—where one of the state’s four tornado deaths was recorded as a funnel cloud left an 8-to-10 mile path of debris, and injured seven. About 100 structures were damaged– 20 severely– including some that were flattened.

Governor McAuliffe also visited Waverly, where three people were killed as a confirmed tornado carved a five mile path of destruction there. And he toured the damage in Essex County, where at least 15 structures were destroyed and 25 people were injured, in a confirmed tornado.

The National Weather Service continues surveying several areas to confirm whether tornadoes touched down. Crews are fanning out in the Richmond area, Southside, and the Northern Neck, looking for signs of tornadoes.

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VaNews: Sealing Police Names, Streaming Council Meetings

VPAPnewThe General Assembly is considering a new law that would prevent the public from learning the names of police officers. And open government advocates are criticizing cities that put their council meetings on the internet but exclude some citizen comments. Fred Echols reports.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on

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Distracted Driving is Number One Cause of Accidents, but Texting isn’t Entirely to Blame

11070978946_35f40a6b70_oA new study confirms that the number one cause of traffic accidents is distracted drivers.  But as Robbie Harris reports, it’s not only texting behind the wheel that’s to blame. 

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Determining the Fate of the Cownose Ray

Cownose Rays 02Oyster restoration efforts around the Chesapeake Bay come with a variety of concerns including one that returns every spring with the annual migration of the cownose ray. A new Florida State University report published by Nature is using new data to refute claims that cownose rays are responsible for the collapse of the oyster industry. Pamela D’Angelo reports.


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Dancing the Budget Tango

tango shoesEven before the fight erupted over whether to replace deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama and Republicans in Congress were squaring off on the nation’s spending priorities. Republicans from the region are proving a thorn in the president’s side on the final budget he sent to Congress, as our correspondent, Matt Laslo, reports from Washington.

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Poll at the Legislative Crossover: A Divided Virginia

Virginia_State_CapitolAs we pass the halfway point for the state General Assembly, a new poll from Christopher Newport University reveals what many Virginians’ think of this year’s hot topics.  Virginians, like their lawmakers, are divided on issues of gun control, medicaid expansion, and gay rights.Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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VaNews Includes Trains Through Town, Food Bank Donations

VPAPnewResidents of a Richmond suburb are happy to have Amtrak trains running through their town but they don’t especially want additional tracks added…and the General Assembly may soon enact a benefit for farmers who donate produce to food banks. 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.

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Tangier Island Residents Fight for Jetty

Tangier Jetty 03After years of waiting for a jetty to protect their harbor, residents of Tangier Island thought the deal was done. Then came a rumor that Virginia’s share of the cost was removed from the governor’s budget. It turned out to be true. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Teacher Pay Raise May Be Too Little, Too Late

Teacher Gift CC 01According to a new poll from the Virginia Education Association, almost three quarters of Virginians say teachers in the state don’t make enough money. It looks like teachers will be getting a raise in this year’s budget — But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the question is how much.

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Bill would Give Public Dollars Back to Home and Private School Parents


pencils_main_0If you don’t have kids you still have to pay the taxes that support public schools, just like everyone else. But Republicans in the state legislature are putting weight behind an educational measure that would change that.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports on a bill that would allow parents who send their kids to private school or home-school to get some of their tax money back.


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Proposals to Change VA’s Sex Offender Registry

Sex offender registryState lawmakers will soon consider a bill that could make it easier for convicted sex offenders to find employment when they get out of prison.  It passed easily in the Senate, but Sandy Hausman reports it may fail in the House, and at least one expert thinks it might not make that much difference.

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General Assembly Measures on Enhancing School Safety

va-capitol-2 - CopyLawmakers in Richmond this legislative session are hoping to minimize the risk of gun violence in Virginia’s public schools. Mallory Noe-Payne reports on those efforts.

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Virginia Tech Students Fare Well in Competition to Design Supersonic Transportation

hyperloopBusiness Magnate and Inventor Elon Musk is a man known for his work on transportation of the future, be it space travel or electric vehicles.  His latest quest is something called a “Hyperloop”  a new kind of super-fast transportation that’s still in the design stage.  At a competition of prototypes this past weekend, Virginia Tech’s entry showed well.  Wes Williams has the story. 

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VaNews: Wild Animal Parts, Botetourt Wind Farm

VPAPnewThe General Assembly is considering loosening restrictions on the sale of wild animal parts in Virginia. And, a plan to build a wind farm in Botetourt County has upset some people in neighboring Rockbridge County. 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.

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Saving Chincoteague Beach


Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge was hit hard by last week’s winter storm. Wind gusts of up to 85 miles per hour created a pounding surf that carried away parts of the beach and parking lot. This is normal for a barrier island, but it’s a huge problem for the nearby town of Chincoteague. Like many of Virginia’s coastal towns and islands, money is the only thing that can save them.  Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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