Archive for December, 2016
As the Obama administration draws to a close, officials at the Justice Department are busy commuting sentences of people convicted for drug offenses, especially crack cocaine. And, as Michael Pope reports, nowhere in the country has sentences for crack dealers as long as the Eastern District of Virginia.
Think the election season is over? Think again. Voters in central Virginia are about to head to the polls for two special elections. And, as Michael Pope reports, control of the state Senate is at stake.
Are you eligible to vote in the special elections? Click here to find out if you live in the State Senate’s 22nd or 9th Districts.
Looking ahead to the General Assembly session next month, Republicans are hoping to crack down on welfare abuse. As Michael Pope reports, one of the items on their agenda is increasing work requirements for people receiving public assistance.
Rich people and poor people often end up voting the same way, depending on where they live. But a new analysis of voter data from the election shows some parts of Virginia are divided along class lines. Michael Pope looks at the numbers.
A professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Engineering in Richmond has partnered with the Gates Foundation and Clinton Health Access Initiative in research that is drastically lowering the cost of HIV drugs. But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, his research could help bring down the cost of all drugs.
It’s been said by some who have taken a campaign run for the White House that doing so is like going 200 miles per hour in a race car. For former Vice Presidential candidate Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, the race continues. Matt Laslo reports from Washington D.C.
For many years, state leaders in Virginia have been trying to collect sales taxes on purchases from outside the state. Now Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has a plan. Michael Pope has the story.
City council members in Chesapeake have decided they need stronger laws to deal with night clubs where things get out of hand, and Surry County is finding out how hard it can be to keep 400-year-old paperwork in good condition. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. Fred Echols reports.
Virginia’s 13 members of the Electoral College are slated to meet Monday in Richmond, determining the outcome of the presidential election. Michael Pope has this preview.
Not long ago, we learned that water quality in the Chesapeake Bay is improving. But one part of one state—south central Pennsylvania—has lagged behind in reaching its pollution reduction goals, mostly because of fertilizer that runs off farm fields into Bay tributaries. Now, Pennsylvania, the US Department of Agriculture and the EPA have committed to spend $28 million to accelerate pollution reduction efforts in that region.
But as Joel McCord reports for Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative some of those farmers are conflicted about taking the money because of religion.
Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative is funded with grant support from the Clayton Baker Trust, The Bancroft Foundation, Michael and Ann Hankin, The Jim and Patty Rouse Foundation, The Rob and Elizabeth Tyler Foundation, and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
More than 50 years ago, a DuPont factory outside Waynesboro dumped mercury into the river. Now, in an historic settlement, the company is paying the state $50 million to clean up. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.
Election 2016 may have come and gone. But all those newly registered voters will remain on the books. Michael Pope reports.
Several sightings of a dead whale in Virginia waters of the Chesapeake Bay have been reported since last weekend. Because it’s on the move the Virginia Aquarium has been unable to locate it. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
As lawmakers gear up for the legislative session beginning in January, Governor Terry McAuliffe is prepping his agenda. Wednesday, he rolled out a suite of ideas for how to improve the state’s mental health system. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
When the next Congress takes office in 2017, one of the first big items on the agenda will be infrastructure spending. And Virginia may benefit from an agreement between a Republican president and Democrats in Congress. Michael Pope has the story.
Almost one in four criminals in Virginia will commit another crime after being released from prison or jail. Although that number may seem high, it’s actually the lowest in the country. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
The state has awarded $3.5 million in grants to six regional jails to provide mental health services. Officials hope to address the underlying cause of crimes — to keep inmates from coming back after they’re released. Sandy Hausman has more on that story.
Local governments across Virginia are crafting new regulations to allow homeowners to rent their houses through online platforms like Airbnb. As Michael Pope tells us, the last-minute flurry of activity comes as members of the General Assembly are about to consider statewide regulations.
Virginia’s governor is suggesting changes to how the state doles out economic development money. The proposals come after investigators blasted the Economic Development Partnership for mismanagement. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.
As cities in Hampton Roads slowly lose ground to the Atlantic Ocean geologists are hoping to reverse the trend by putting more water underground, and VMI has reacted to comments about efforts to help cadets deal with exam stress. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. Fred Echols reports.
Thanks to a $500,000 state grant, central Virginia is getting its first and only shelter for victims of human trafficking. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
As worries mount about Russian hacking and cyber-crimes, leaders in Washington – including Virginia Senator Mark Warner – are taking new steps to fight a virtual war online. Michael Pope has the story.
Should candidates for local offices be identified as Republicans or Democrats in Virginia? That’s an issue now being considered by the courts. Michael Pope reports.
For those who are willing to traffic in illegal goods, the big money is not in cocaine or heroin. As Michael Pope tells us, criminals are cleaning up with illegal cigarettes.
Virginia is the nation’s third largest producer of marine products, behind Alaska and Louisiana. But working waterfronts in coastal Virginia are under increasing threats from development, sea level rise, subsidence, and loss of marine habitat to name a few. At a recent conference sponsored by the Virginia Coastal Policy Center stakeholders presented a plan to save working waterfronts to members of the General Assembly.
For the last three years, leaders from across Virginia have been looking at improving the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. But now that they’re done, critics say the final result won’t do much to improve transparency. Michael Pope has more on the law’s exemptions.
Did Republicans in Virginia’s General Assembly pack black voters into a dozen House of Delegates districts to dilute their influence elsewhere? That’s the argument that justices of the Supreme Court heard today. Michael Pope is at the court with the latest.
A Chesapeake business owner may be facing more than a fine for violating the city’s sign ordinance, and two controversial literary classics have been banned by a Virginia school district, at least for the time being. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.
President-elect Donald Trump was able to negotiate a deal to protect about a third of the Indiana jobs that air-conditioner maker Carrier was planning to ship to Mexico. The deal was struck not by threatening tariffs, but by offering $7 million in tax breaks as part of an economic development package. Michael Pope has this look at similar efforts in Virginia.
Members of the Virginia School Board are considering a new proposal that would allow parents and guardians to prevent children from being exposed to sexually explicit material. Michael Pope has the story.