Archive for June, 2016
Federal officials are stepping in to aid the thousands without power, homes, or basic needs following devastating flooding in West Virginia last week. But one Virginian is stepping up and doing what she can to help those recovering, loading up a tractor trailer with supplies, and heading home. Mallory Noe-Payne has her story.
This week, Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe issued yet another executive order, this time to bypass the General Assembly and take a look at ways the commonwealth can respond to climate change. It’s the latest example of a governor who has increasingly taken to using executive power to accomplish his agenda, a trend that’s causing alarm among Republican leaders in the General Assembly. Michael Pope has the story.
Democrats are hoping to make gun-control a central plank in this year’s elections, but Virginia Republicans say it’s a bad idea. Matt Laslo has the details from the Capitol.
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s political career may be over. But his days raising money are not. Michael Pope has this look at the fundraising effort to pay McDonnell’s legal bills.
With Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, many Virginia politicians are speaking up in support of the state’s ex-Governor. But they’re also thinking about what the ruling means for politics in the Commonwealth. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
The Supreme Court decision today overturning the corruption case against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell could have far-reaching legal consequences. Michael Pope has the story.
Michael Pope continues his report on the legal consequences of the McDonnell ruling:
Some of the entries on the Chesterfield County Schools’ summer reading list have drawn sharp criticism from parents, while there are concerns being raised about the age of textbooks in other locations in Virginia. 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. Fred Echols has more.
The Great Loop of the Eastern United States is like a safari or sea-fari if you will. There are bears, manatees, bald eagles and mountain lions all while boaters cruise through 6,000 miles of waterways. They travel the Atlantic up to Canada then to inland waterways, down to the Gulf Coast and back to the Atlantic. Pamela D’Angelo met up with a pair of so-called Loopers from Maine as they followed the route of Captain John Smith up the Rappahannock River.
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife are breathing a sigh of relief today, after the United States Supreme court threw out their convictions for corruption and conspiracy. Michael Pope is at the Supreme Court with the latest.
As Congress once again fails to make any headway on gun control, Virginia is set to implement a new measure of gun control.
In 2014, 66 people in the state were killed by a spouse or partner, using a firearm. The new measure seeks to lower that number. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Looking for something to do with a young football fan this summer? The Virginia Historical Society in Richmond may not known for its young audience, but a new special exhibition this summer could change that. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
In 2014, almost 1,000 people died from opiate overdose in Virginia — and that number is trending upwards, not down. A state task force created a number of proposals to help stem the epidemic, and Governor Terry McAuliffe signed three of those measures into law today. The primary goal? To help prevent addicts from acquiring drugs. Mallory Noe-Payne explains how.
The sit-in launched by Democrats in the House of Representatives may be over, but the gridlock in Washington over the gun debate offers a stark contrast with what happened in Richmond earlier this year. That’s when leaders from opposing parties were able to craft a sweeping compromise on the issue. Michael Pope has this tale of two governments.
Virginia’s largest school system may also be its most secretive. Leaders at the Fairfax County School system have a history of redacting information from financial disclosure forms of School Board members. Now, as Michael Pope reports, a new opinion from the Virginia attorney general says they should hand over the information.
The Governor announced Wednesday the first of a new type of grant, state dollars going towards housing and community development projects. The first two recipients of the Vibrant Community Initiative are in Richmond, and Blacksburg. Mallory Noe-Payne has this report.
The long-running legal battle involving bonds issued by the City of Buena Vista and the company that insures those bonds has taken a new turn. Fred Echols reports.
Is corporate America too focused on the short term? Virginia Senator Mark Warner thinks so, and he’s hoping the Federal Reserve is keeping an eye on the trend. Michael Pope reports.
Major corporations across the country are increasingly adding language to contracts to prevent lawsuits, a controversial practice that is coming under increased scrutiny. The provisions, known as “forced arbitration clauses,” apply to everything from getting a credit card to accepting a job offer. And now one Virginia lawmaker says these provisions should be outlawed. Michael Pope has this report.
You may have heard it’s the 100th anniversary of the National Parks System. What you may not know is that Virginia’s State parks are celebrating their own anniversary — 80 years. Virginia was the first state to open an entire system, 6 parks, in one day. Mallory Noe-Payne tells the story.
Prosecutors in Virginia are elected to four-year terms. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to do much campaigning. As Michael Pope tells us, a new report from the ACLU of Virginia says the vast majority of these elections are uncontested.
A new analysis out today from the Associated Press shows that across the country many minorities are severely underrepresented in their states’ legislatures. Virginia is no exception, ranking high for black and Latino under-representation. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Earlier this year, Virginia lawmakers were considering several bills that would have cracked down on the car-title lending industry, a business that’s come under increasing scrutiny and mounting criticism. None of those bills passed, although two powerful state senators wrote a letter to regulators asking them to take care of it. Now Michael Pope has the latest twist in the ongoing investigation – state regulators now say they don’t have the authority to take action.
As more and more people move to Virginia’s metropolitan areas, the suburban and ex-urban areas surrounding them are experiencing their own growing pains. And as Michael Pope Tells us, they’re changing in ways that might not be obvious.
New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show two Virginia jurisdictions leading the nation during the early part of this year. Michael Pope reports.
Yesterday’s Virginia Primary saw longtime incumbent Representative Bob Goodlatte claim victory in the 6th Congressional District GOP primary, while U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes’ faced a loss due to a newly redrawn Virginia congressional map. Mallory Noe-Payne has this and more in this report.
Voters in Virginia are heading to the polls today — in some cases picking their Republican and Democratic nominees for Congress in the Fall. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports this is the first election for voters in a NEW congressional district.
Last week Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi was granted the rare audience of the entire US Congress, and Virginia lawmakers were listening especially closely. Matt Laslo reports from the Capitol on what many lawmakers say is quickly becoming one of the most important US allies in the region.
Virginia’s Museum of Fine Arts unveiled its newest exhibit this weekend. It’s a big get for the VMFA. The museum is one of only 7 stops for this particular collection, and the only in the southeast.
But it’s special for another reason. The display is a mid-career retrospective from artist Kehinde Wiley, a young black man who’s a pop star of the art world. The exhibit represents an effort by the museum to diversify both its collection, and its audience. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
While in town, Kehinde Wiley sat down at the VMFA to talk to Chioke I’Anson. I’Anson is a radio producer and professor of African-American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He began by asking Wiley what it means to have his works on display in Richmond…
The city of Portsmouth’s new ad campaign is under fire for lack of diversity … and questions are raised regarding liability for inmates performing labor in Suffolk. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. More by Fred Echols.
Members of the advocacy group Justice for Kionte Spencer met with U.S. Attorney John Fishwick in Roanoke Monday morning to discuss their demands regarding the death of the 18-year-old student back in February. Payton Knobeloch has more on this story.
Did the Obama administration go too far when it directed the nation’s schools to let transgender students use bathrooms of their choice? The Gloucester County School board is asking the United States Supreme Court to consider their appeal of a fourth circuit ruling allowing a transgender student to use the boys bathroom. Michael Pope has the story.
Democrats in Virginia are calling on Republicans to repudiate comments from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who says a federal judge is unfit to rule in a civil case against him because he has Mexican heritage. Michael Pope reports.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s controversial executive order restoring rights to nonviolent felons may be having some unintended consequences in the court system. Michael Pope has the story.
Virginia historians want your relics — photos, letters, newspapers, yearbooks — all in an effort to chronicle desegregation in the state. For more than 8 years, a database of primary sources related to the Commonwealth’s struggle to integrate its schools has quietly been growing at Old Dominion University. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Virginia’s two U-S senators are pushing legislation to help rural hospitals across the commonwealth get the same reimbursement rate for Medicare as their urban counterparts. Matt Laslo has the details from the Capitol.
There won’t be any picket lines later this month outside Kroger stores in Southwest and Central Virginia, West Virginia and Eastern Tennessee.
The union representing thousands of Kroger employees approved a new contract today—avoiding a potential strike. A lot of workers, though, weren’t too happy with the decision. Joe Staniunas has the story.
Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe is fighting back against Republican criticism that his executive order restoring voting rights to former felons. The governor tells Virginia Public Radio’s Michael Pope that the clerical errors were from bad data from the Department of Corrections.
Small dollar lending has become increasingly controversial in recent years, especially now that the number of automobiles repossessed by the car title lending industry doubled over the last three years. Now a new federal rule could mean an end to lending practices critics call predatory. Michael Pope has the story.
The justice system is supposed to be impartial, and fair. Many, though, assume justice isn’t blind when it comes to matters of race or income. But now an unlikely pair — a lawyer, and a software engineer — have used data to uncover bias in Virginia’s courts. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Donald Trump and Loudon County disagree on what the presidential candidate’s newly renovated golf course is worth…and the city of Suffolk remains under federal scrutiny over past acts of racial discrimination in schools. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s V-A News link on V-PAP-dot-org. More from Fred Echols.
Western Virginia landowners have gone to court to keep kayakers and others from using creeks that cross their property…and conflicting federal rulings have put Virginia’s ocean fishing season at risk. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org.
A Pittsylvania County RV dealer says the county’s inventory tax is unfair to businesses like his and could force him to leave the area…and a controversial painting is drawing some criticism for a Virginia Beach museum. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org.
Throughout Virginia, the conversation about confederate monuments is a sticky one. So a new art exhibition in Richmond is making the conversation visual. It’s an effort to have more voices heard in the debate about the future of confederate statues on Monument Avenue. Kelley Libby reports.
Around Virginia, the hottest primary on the ballot June 14 is the Republican contest in Hampton Roads. That’s where Republican incumbent Scott Rigell is stepping down after three terms in office. As Michael Pope reports, one of the candidates in that primary is buying hundreds of thousands of dollars in television time.
The hottest race on the ballot this year is likely to be in Northern Virginia, where freshman Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock is facing Democratic challenger LuAnn Bennett. Michael Pope reports.