Archive for August, 2017
New Attack Ad Brings Sanctuary Cities to Forefront of Governor’s Race
Immigration issues remain a flashpoint in American politics as leaders in Washington debate everything from building a wall to deporting immigrants who are here illegally. Now, as Michael Pope reports, it’s an issue that’s stealing the spotlight in the campaign for governor.
Gas Prices Jump in Virginia, as Refineries Shut Down by Harvey
Gas prices jumped 5 cents overnight in Virginia, and they’re expected to keep rising. That’s because flooding in Texas has caused officials to shut down a major pipeline running gas from the Gulf Coast, to the East Coast. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Kaine Hears from Dreamers as DACA Decision Looms
Senator Tim Kaine is hearing from immigrants and advocates about what might happen to people in Virginia if Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is rescinded. Michael Pope has the story.
New Potential Toxin Found in Coal Burning Emissions
Posted by Nick Gilmore in Virginia's News on August 30, 2017
Scientists have discovered a particle, created when coal is burned, that had never before been identified as part of that process. Preliminary studies show it is toxic to some fish. And there’s concern it could also be dangerous to humans. Robbie Harris reports.
Crews from Virginia Head Down to Texas for Flood Relief
As Harvey brings unprecedented flooding in Texas, Virginians are part of relief efforts underway there. Crews from the state have been deployed to help search and rescue missions in Texas, as water level continue to rise. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Democrats See Promise In Young Candidates for House of Delegates
This year’s House of Delegates election is historic for the amount of attention and outside money that’s flowing into the race. But it’s also noteworthy for another feature of the candidates — how young many of them are. Michael Pope has the story.
AG Mark Herring Believes Some Confederate Monuments Can Legally Be Removed
City officials from Charlottesville will be back in court this week as part of their ongoing effort to remove the controversial statue of Robert E. Lee. But, as Michael Pope reports, they now have a new advocate in their corner.
Virginia’s Youth Prison Population Drops by Two-Thirds
Each year, Virginia spends $187,000 to imprison, and educate, just one child. The high cost, and high population, has led to bipartisan support for restructuring the juvenile justice system. Virginia’s Governor touted the state’s success at a conference Monday. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Charlottesville Vents Over a Summer of Unrest
Charlottesville held what was billed as a Healing Town Hall yesterday – a chance for residents to express their fears and frustrations about what happened when white supremacists and neo-Nazis came to town, and how they think future problems might be avoided. Sandy Hausman was there and filed this report:
Va News Topics: Federal Erosion Funding, Newborn Sleep Safety
A new federal grant is on the way to help in the ongoing battle against erosion and pollution on Virginia’s Atlantic shore. And, new parents concerned about their babies sleeping safely will be able to try an idea that’s getting a lot of attention in Europe. 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. More now from Fred Echols.
The Ongoing Efforts to Regulate Online Loans in Virginia
No job? No credit? No problem, borrowers can go online to get a loan — and pay five thousand percent interest. But, as Michael Pope reports, that era might be coming to a close.
VCU “Medicines for All” Project Receives $25 Million from Gates Foundation
Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond has received the largest private grant in history: 25 million dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The money will support the school’s “Medicines for All” research. Virginia’s Governor was on hand at the announcement. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
In Search Of Virginia’s Go-To Summertime Dish
Summertime and cookouts are inextricably tied to one another. It’s a time for family, friends and the forging of indelible memories. In Virginia, food tends to be so much more than just flavors and fulfillment. Many Virginians attend cookouts where there are hamburgers and hot dogs on a grill, but those items alone do not delve into the essence of food culture. The state that lays claim to the first colony in 1607 and produced four out of five of the country’s first presidents and has one of the oldest cooking books on record published in 1824, The Virginia House Wife by Mary Randolph, has an enriched food history and lineage. Jason Fuller reports.
Proposed Pipeline Projects Could Mean Bumpy End to the McAuliffe Administration
Posted by Nick Gilmore in Virginia's News on August 24, 2017
Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe may have only a few months left as governor, but they may end up being some of the most tumultuous of his term in office. Michael Pope has the story.
What’s Behind The Soaring Cost of Higher Education in Virginia?
Across Virginia, the cost of higher education is skyrocketing. Michael Pope is digging into the numbers.
A spokesperson for the College of William and Mary noted that the school offers the W&M Promise. The program is a guaranteed tuition model for in-state students that locks in tuition at the freshman year. The program has been in place since 2012.
Virginia Hops on Finnish Trend and Provides ‘Baby Boxes’ to New Parents
Parents have all heard the advice: you’re not supposed to sleep with your newborn baby. According to the CDC, in 2015, an estimated 900 infants died from preventable sleep-related accidents.
Now, Virginia is kicking off a safe sleep initiative, beginning with a unique practice that began in Finland: baby boxes.
Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Poll Finds Virginians Aren’t Just Divided, They’re On Different Planets
A new poll from Roanoke College says Virginians are more divided on everything, from the direction of Virginia to their views of the president. Michael Pope is breaking down the numbers.
Northam Leads Gillespie By Seven Points in New Roanoke College Poll
The race for governor is about to gear up heading into the fall. And a new poll from Roanoke College shows one candidate with a significant lead. Michael Pope is digging into the numbers.
Should Virginia Replace Confederate Statue on Capitol Hill?
Confederate statues aren’t just at courthouses and public squares in the South. They are also placed in positions of honor at the United States Capitol. Michael Pope has the story.
Safety, Community on Students’ Minds as They Return to University of Virginia
Students are returning to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville this week. The progressive college-town was struck by violence when hundreds marched on campus, carrying torches and chanting Nazi slogans. That’s left some students and families concerned. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Va News Topics: Pig Chase, Northern Virginia Visionary
A contest in which children chase pigs at a Virginia county fair has generated a pair of petitions and worldwide attention. And, one of the people who made Northern Virginia what it is today is being remembered as a true visionary. 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. More now from Fred Echols.
Governor Remembers State Trooper Who Died in Charlottesville
Two state troopers died last weekend in Charlottesville. They had been monitoring the rally from above and were returning to base when their helicopter crashed. Mallory Noe-Payne attended the first of two funerals and has this report.
How Should Localities Grant Permits Following Charlottesville Violence?
Last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville is opening a new conversation about how local governments issue permits for groups to hold marches and rallies. Michael Pope has the story.
Richmond Commission Now Directed To Consider Removing Confederate Monuments
A commission considering the future of Richmond’s Confederate monuments now has new orders. Last week, Mayor Levar Stoney directed the commission to include an examination of removal or relocation of the monuments. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Dolphins in Chesapeake Bay: Unusual, or No Big Deal?
Earlier this summer, we started hearing reports of dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay. Some thought it was unusual, others said it was no big deal. So Joel McCord went searching for them for Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative.
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.
In Light of Charlottesville, VMFA Highlights Mission of Inclusion Through New Exhibit
With talk of Charlottesville and Civil War monuments dominating the news cycle, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Director addressed the institution’s Confederate past while looking forward to its future Thursday morning. A new exhibit, highlighting the artistic legacy of Native Americans, hopes to reinforce the museum’s long-time message of inclusion. Brad Kutner reports from Richmond.
What Happens to Charlottesville’s Lee Statue is Still Up in the Air
Posted by Nick Gilmore in Virginia's News on August 17, 2017
The violence that erupted in Charlottesville over the weekend was prompted by the city’s desire to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. That’s a legal battle that’s still unfolding in the courts and it’s far from settled. Michael Pope has the story.
Craft Breweries Triple During McAuliffe Administration
Posted by Nick Gilmore in Virginia's News on August 16, 2017
As Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe prepares to leave office early next year, he can look to a record of economic development that even some Republicans applaud. But there’s one particular industry that the governor has tapped more than others. Michael Pope serves up the story.
Virginia’s ACA Marketplace Has Lost Another Provider, But There is a Silver Lining
Virginia’s largest insurer is pulling out of the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. Michael Pope has the story.
Senator Mark Warner Responds to Charlottesville Violence
Senator Mark Warner is denouncing the violent rally in Charlottesville over the weekend. Nick Gilmore has details.
Charlottesville Clash Shines New Spotlight on Confederate Monuments
The events in Charlottesville are prompting a renewed interest in Confederate statues and memorials across Virginia, as elected leaders across Virginia hear a new round of calls to remove them. Michael Pope reports.
Officials Reflect on Charlottesville at Groundbreaking for Civil War Museum
Officials in Richmond broke ground today on a new Civil War Museum. The facility will feature exhibit halls and a theater. And while it’s been in the works for years, this weekend’s events in Charlottesville gave the effort a renewed sense of urgency. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Journalist Attacked at Late Night Richmond Protest
Rounding out a weekend of chaos, a couple hundred people took to the streets in Richmond Sunday night, protesting white supremacy and fascism. Police closed down portions of Broad Street as they marched to a monument of Robert E. Lee. A local journalist covering the march was attacked, and one protester was arrested. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
UPDATE August 15, 9:13 am: The organizer of the planned September rally tells local media he has decided to withdraw his permit request.
Va News Topics: Strongest Alcoholic Beverage, Saving a Virginia Island
A new law has opened the way for Virginia ABC stores to sell the strongest alcoholic beverage ever made available in state liquor outlets. But it won’t be on the shelves at every location. And, residents of a disappearing Virginia island in the Chesapeake Bay are looking to a project in Maryland as a way to save their home. 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. More now from Fred Echols.
‘She Was Just Awake’ Friends Remember Heather Heyer
People in Charlottesville are remembering the 32-year-old woman who died this weekend at a counter protest following a white supremacist rally. Police identified her as Heather Heyer. She was killed when an alleged white supremacist drove a car into a crowd of people. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.
Blacksburg Vigil for Charlottesville
Across Virginia, people gathered to remember those killed and injured in Saturday’s violence. In Blacksburg, the Coalition for Justice held a vigil against hate in solidarity with counter protesters in Charlottesville. Robbie Harris was there.
After the Rally, Charlottesville Confronts Fresh Wounds
People who were hit by a speeding car after violent protests in Charlottesville continue their recovery. Ten are now in good condition at UVA Medical Center and nine have been released, but as Sandy Hausman reports, some invisible wounds may remain.
Virginia Governor’s Race: The Candidates’ Plans for Rural High-Speed Internet
Policy wonks call it the “last mile” – the infrastructure needed to get high-speed internet down those long and sparsely populated country roads. It’s expensive, and private companies are unlikely to recoup that investment from just a couple of households. And while Virginia’s candidates for governor agree something needs to be done, they don’t quite agree over how to fund it. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.
This Year’s Governor’s Race Could Have Lasting Impacts on Virginia Politics
This year’s election may end up being more important than most because the next governor will oversee a new round of political maps that will shape Virginia politics for the next decade. Michael Pope has details.
Does Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Paint the Whole Picture?
Posted by Nick Gilmore in Virginia's News on August 10, 2017
Virginia’s unemployment is at its lowest level since the recession. But is that a sign of strength for the economy? Or does it indicate something else is going on? Michael Pope hit the road to find out.
Recent Study Finds State Tax Code Doesn’t Benefit Low-Income People
As Washington turns its attention from healthcare to taxes, critics of the tax code on the right and left agree on one thing — too many tax breaks benefit wealthy people. Michael Pope has the story.
East of I-95, Virginia Begins to Limit Permitted Groundwater Users
Groundwater in the Coastal Plain, East of I-95, is under stress. During the last 18 months, Virginia water officials have been negotiating cuts to groundwater withdrawals by the state’s biggest users. Now, they are looking at another large user. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
You can find the full report here.
Virginians Will Have More Healthcare Choices Next Year
Despite fears that Virginia’s health insurance marketplace is imploding, people who are insured through the Affordable Care Act in Virginia will actually have more choices next year. Michael Pope has details.
Latest Poll Has Democrat Ralph Northam Edging Out Republican Ed Gillespie in Governor’s Race
Political season here in Virginia never seems to die, the commonwealth is now gearing up for a fall of campaigning for Governor and the state legislature. The latest poll numbers favor Democrats. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Hampton Roads Lags Behind Other Metropolitan Areas in Employment Numbers
Virginia’s major metropolitan areas are thriving, and unemployment is down across the Commonwealth; but there’s one part of Virginia that’s struggling more than others. Michael Pope is digging into the numbers.
Va News Topics: DuPont Settlement, Va Beach Senior Class Rankings
DuPont has agreed to pay the largest environmental damage award ever in Virginia. The money will go toward restoring ecosystems damaged by a mercury discharge from a DuPont plant in Waynesboro. And, senior class rankings and valedictorians may soon become relics of the past in Virginia Beach. 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. More now from Fred Echols.
A Racial Divide for Mental Health Care Exists in Virginia
For years, lawmakers in Virginia have struggled to find ways to expand mental health care — with mixed results. A new report from the Commonwealth Institute finds a racial divide in terms of who gets help. Michael Pope has the story.
Should Social Media Posts from Lawmakers Be Considered Public Records?
When an elected official posts on Facebook, is that a public record? That’s the question at the center of a Henrico County case that could have broad implications for freedom of information. Michael Pope has the story.
Challenge to Massive Surveillance Program Headed to Virginia Supreme Court
Posted by dmjones101 in Virginia's News on August 2, 2017
You’ve seen them on top of police cruisers across Virginia, license plate readers — constantly tracking your whereabouts and feeding your local police department with information about where you have been and when you were there. Now a lawsuit is challenging that. Michael Pope has details.
Virginia is Getting Older, But Some Places Are Aging Faster Than Others
Posted by dmjones101 in Virginia's News on August 1, 2017
In the next 20 years, the number of people over the age of 65 in Virginia is expected to double. But as Michael Pope tells us, some places will get older than others.