Archive for June, 2018

Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction Temporarily Halted

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A section of pipeline construction near Sinking Creek in Giles County. (Credit: Mountain Valley Watch)

Construction work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline has been temporarily suspended. A statement from the company Friday says recent heavy rain has heightened erosion control concerns. Robbie Harris reports.

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UVA’s Crystal Ball Predicts Trouble for Some of Virginia’s Republican Incumbents

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According to the UVA School of Politics, evidence points to a significant possibility that Representative Barbara Comstock could lose her seat this fall.

The politics of Virginia’s congressional elections may be shifting, according to new projections. Michael Pope explains.

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Congressman Beyer Says Migrant Children Should Be Provided With Lawyers

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  Rep. Don Beyer and other lawmakers speak to reporters outside the Immigration Court in Arlington. (Credit Michael Pope)

The crisis at the border is still playing out in courtrooms across the country, including many immigration courts here in Virginia.

Michael Pope went to one of those courts in Arlington to get a sense of how it works.

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Virginia Joins Other States in Suing Purdue Pharma

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Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (Edward Kimmel / Flickr)

Purdue Pharma says it’s ended programs promoting opioids, and they’re disappointed by a lawsuit filed Wednesday by Virginia’s Attorney General. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Social Justice and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

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John and Ruby Laury fear the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will rob them of clean air, clean water and the quiet of their rural neirhborhood. (Credit Sandy Hausman)

Opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have warned of possible harm to the environment and challenged Dominion’s right to take private property for this purpose.

Now, another group is coming forward with a different claim as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Warner Tours Virginia Facility Housing Detained Immigrant Children

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  Senator Mark Warner speaks to reporters Wednesday outside the Youth for Tomorrow facility in Bristow. (Credit Michael Pope)

Some of the children caught up in the recent immigration policy enforcement are here in Virginia.

Michael Pope went to one facility in Northern Virginia where more than a dozen children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are being housed.

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New Cabinet Post to Deal with Rising Seas

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According to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, much of Virginia’s coastline will face persistent and chronic flooding by the end of the century.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, a new cabinet member in Virginia is being tasked with fighting the flooding.

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Virginia Lawyers Detail Work With Immigrant Families

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A team of volunteer lawyers from Northern Virginia spent four days interviewing more than 200 undocumented immigrants in Texas who were desperate to be reunited with their children. (Credit: Michael Pope)

A team of Virginia lawyers spent much of the last week volunteering to help more than 200 immigrant parents separated from their children. Michael Pope has the story.

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New Bike Helmet Ratings from VT; Newer Models Better at Preventing Injury

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Megan Bland, a biomedical engineering and mechanics doctoral student, positions a bicycle helmet for testing. Bland conducted most of the research behind new five-star safety ratings that describe how well different helmets reduce head-injury risk. (Credit: Virginia Tech)

Most people know that wearing a bike helmet reduces the chances you’ll be injured if you crash. But until now, there were no ratings that tracked actual, real world head impacts to determine which helmets protect best. Robbie Harris reports.

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Controlled Burns Boost Songbird Populations

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Nikole Simmons (left) and Laurel Schablein count birds following several controlled burns in the forests near Warm Springs.

Year after year, scientists report falling numbers of songbirds in Virginia. One likely reason – changes in the places they like to feed, mate and nest. To provide them with more healthy habitat, the Nature Conservancy is doing something bold – burning large sections of an 18,000 acre forest in western Virginia. Sandy Hausman reports.

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Once Caught In Judicial Stalemate, Virginia Judge Now Considered For Federal Post

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One lost opportunity is turning into a new gig for one Virginia judge.

Michael Pope explains.

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Va. News: Smithfield Hams, Gender-Neutral Graduation Wear in Richmond

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Smithfield Foods is no longer curing hams in Smithfield. And Richmond’s school superintendent says it’s time for gender-neutral caps and gowns.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Support for Corey Stewart Inches Toward Suburban and Urban Areas

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Corey Stewart celebrates victory in the Republican primary on June 12. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Voting results in the recent Republican primary for U.S. Senate show some signs that the traditional urban-rural divide may be slipping a bid.

Michael Pope is looking at the numbers.

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Drink with Your Dog Thanks to New Law

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Cooper Vineyards in Louisa (Credit Virginia Department of Agriculture)

Rolling into the weekend you may have plans to relax at one of Virginia’s many breweries or wineries

Mallory Noe-Payne reports that in the future, thanks to a new law, you may be able to bring your four legged-friend with you.

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VCU Marks 50 Years Of Impact On Richmond

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Richmond’s largest employer and one of the state’s biggest universities is marking a major milestone this summer.

Jason Fuller reports on how it’s changed the physical landscape of the city.

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Virginia Politicians Respond to Alleged Abuse at Detention Facility

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Virginia politicians are responding to reports of physical and emotional abuse of immigrant children detained at a juvenile justice center outside Staunton.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Will Tax Incentives Lure Businesses to Struggling Parts Of Virginia?

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Businesses across the country are about to get major new tax incentives to move to some of the poorest parts of Virginia.

But will it work?

Michael Pope reports.

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Garrett’s Independent Streak Flourishes Since Reelection Announcement

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Rep. Tom Garrett

Leaving Congress can be a liberating time in the life of an elected official, a time when lawmakers don’t have to listen to leadership or donors.

Michael Pope has the story of one Central Virginia congressman who says he lived those values his entire time in office.

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Coming Near You? Boozy Baked Goods.

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(Credit: Lush Cupcakes)

Breweries and wineries are booming in Virginia.

And now, thanks to a change in state law, a new alcohol-inspired industry may soon blossom: boozy baked goods.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Virginia Students Design the Future of Travel

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  Patrick Welch, a member of VCU’s Hyperloop team, at work at BuildRVA.
(Credit: VCU College of Engineering)

SpaceX, the company run by Elon Musk has made headlines for revolutionizing space travel.

But the company is also focused on travel right here on Earth — a high-speed futuristic train called the Hyperloop.

It doesn’t exist yet, but college students around the world have done their part to inch the Hyperloop closer to reality, by taking part in an international design competition.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports two of the twenty teams that are worldwide finalists are from Virginia.

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New Law Sets Cap on Suspensions

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Credit: jeffrey montes / Flickr

In Virginia, some students are suspended for months, or even an entire school year. A new law that takes effect July 1st, seeks to change that. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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A Civil War Camp for Kids

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Campers will discover not all Civil War soldiers dressed in blue or gray.
(Credit: National Museum of the Civil War Soldier)

Kids heading for summer camp have lots of choice – from conventional outdoor adventures to programs specializing in computers, the science of space travel and plenty of sports.

Here in Virginia, there’s a camp that allows children to experience the American Civil War.

Sandy Hausman traveled to Petersburg to check it out.

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Menstrual Equity Advocates Say Sales Tax, School Changes Still Needed

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Credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr

Governor Ralph Northam will sign a bill Tuesday aimed at making feminine hygiene products more available in prisons and jails in Virginia.

But advocates for menstrual equity say much more needs to be done.

Michael Pope reports.

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State will Soon Provide Low-Income Virginians with Birth Control

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An intrauterine device is one of the most effective forms of birth control, but without insurance it can cost a $1,000. (Credit Sarah Mirk / Flickr CC)

In Virginia, almost 40-percent of women say their most recent pregnancy was unplanned.

A new pilot program funded in the latest state budget, is hoping to lower that number.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Va. News: Year-Round Schools in Chesterfield County, Salem Meals Taxes

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Elementary students in Chesterfield County are about to become the latest in Virginia to experience year-round schools…. and in Salem the consequences of not paying the meals taxes just got a little more serious.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

Fred Echols has more.

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Why Are So Many Virginia Children Still Living in Poverty?

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Downtown Danville. Nearly half of the city’s children live in poverty. (Credit: Miguel Gereda / Creative Commons)

The number of children who live in poverty is coming down across the country. But not in Virginia. Michael Pope is looking at the numbers.

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Virginia Republicans Following Party Line In DACA Debate

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(Credit: Rog Cogswell/Creative Commons)

Republicans in Washington are locked in a debate over what Congress should, or even can do, about immigration reform this election year.

Washington correspondent Matt Laslo reports most Virginia Republicans are sticking to party leader’s script.

 

 

 

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New Federal Program Seeks to Pay for Lunches at High-Poverty Schools

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Credit: CSU Extension FSHN / Flickr

Census figures show that the number of children who live in poverty in Virginia is on the rise, and school administrators across the commonwealth are using new money from the federal government to do something about it. Michael Pope reports.

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Opportunity And Opposition In Pamunkey Tribe’s Casino Proposal

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Chief Robert Gray stands on the pier in front of the tribe’s now defunct shad fish hatchery. There are no longer enough shad to continue the hatchery that once helped boost the population. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Three years ago the Pamunkey Indian Tribe gained federal recognition.

Now the tribe is considering opening a casino as a step toward financial independence.

But the idea is not without controversy as Pamela D’Angelo reports.

***Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed the historic document read by Chief Gray to his tribe. In fact, it was from a speech by  the leader of the Onondaga tribe, who spoke on behalf of six nations at the 1744 treaty of Lancaster in Pennsylvania. The Pamunkey were not signatories nor attended this treaty negotiation.

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Republicans Respond to Corey Stewart Nomination

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Corey Stewart will face off with Democratic incumbent Senator Tim Kaine in November. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Republicans are divided about the Senate candidate at the top of their ticket in Virginia this year. Michael Pope reports.

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Democrats Didn’t Always Pick The Most Progressive Candidate And That Might Help Them In November

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Democrats now have a slate of candidates heading into the fall election that may not be as progressive as some would like.

But Michael Pope reports that might end up helping them in the fall.

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Stewart Wins GOP Senate Primary

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Corey Stewart celebrates his nomination Tuesday night. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Corey Stewart beat back two challengers to emerge as his party’s nominee to take on Senator Tim Kaine.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Rally Over Kroger Jobs Draws Hundreds

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About 300 union workers took part in a protest across from the company’s regional offices in Roanoke. The dispute is over the possible loss of 74 jobs at a store in Hampton Roads. (Credit: Joe Staniunas)

A dispute over 74 jobs at a Kroger supermarket in Tidewater prompted a protest in Roanoke by hundreds of union workers this/Tuesday afternoon.

Joe Staniunas reports.

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Predicting Turnout In Senate Primary

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Republicans will head to the polls tomorrow to select a candidate to run against incumbent Senator Tim Kaine.

So how many voters will show up and vote?

Michael Pope gets some predictions.

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As Popularity Of Absentee Voting Grows, Depth Of Data Declines

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(Credit: Joe Hall/flickr.com)

Recent years have seen tremendous growth of absentee balloting in Virginia.

Parties and candidates use that data to get out the vote.

But, as Michael Pope reports, the new trend is also making election returns less informative.

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Virginia Battens Down the Hatches Against Election Threats

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Tuesday is Primary Day in Virginia. Voters will be selecting candidates for November’s Congressional midterms.

And as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, officials have been prepping to make sure voting systems are secured against cyber attacks.

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Va. News: Homebuilders Group needs skilled workers, Deactivated E-Z Passes

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America is running short on people who have the skills to fix things. And if you have an E-Z Pass in Virginia you should know that if you don’t use it you could lose it.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Now That Medicaid Expansion Has Passed, What’s Next?

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Democrats are still celebrating their huge victory in expanding Medicaid, a goal they’ve sought for years and only accomplished after last year’s wave election. What comes next? Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Congressman To House Speaker: Stay In Session And Pass Bills

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Rep. Rob Wittman (Credit: congress.gov)

This week the Senate leader announced he plans to cancel part of their August recess, and a Virginia Congressman thinks the House should stay in session too.

Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

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Northam Signs Budget That Expands Medicaid, Thanks Republicans

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Governor Ralph Northam speaks at Thursday’s budget signing ceremony. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

A sense of celebration Thursday at the Capitol in Richmond, as the Governor signed a new two-year budget that includes Medicaid Expansion.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Thanks to Federal Tax Code, Virginia Could See Millions in New Revenue

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Credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr

The new federal tax code may be having an unintended consequence here in Virginia: higher state taxes. And, that could mean hundreds of millions of dollars of new revenue. Michael Pope reports.

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Examining Fundraising Numbers for Virginia’s Republican Senate Hopefuls

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Republicans are about to select their candidate to take on incumbent Senator Tim Kaine. Whichever candidate emerges as the winner next week will face a huge financial challenge. Michael Pope reports.

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Congressman Says Interior Sec. Zinke May Not Be Interested In Drilling Off Virginia

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Rep. Scott Taylor speaking at a “State of the Water” forum held by the Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper at the Eastern Shore Community College on May 31. (Credit Pamela D’Angelo)

The fight over offshore drilling is heating up.

Tuesday, Richmond-area Congressman Donald McEachin introduced legislation that would prevent exploration and drilling off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Delaware.

Virginia Beach Congressman Scott Taylor has also publicly opposed a White House proposal to allow offshore drilling.

At a recent forum on the state of Virginia’s waters, the Republican had even more to say.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Mixed News for Higher Ed in State Budget

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Credit: Taber Andrew Bain / Flickr CC

State lawmakers have signed off on a budget that includes increased spending on K-12 education, health care, and raises for state employees. But the outlook for higher education funding is mixed. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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With Next Week’s Primary Elections Looming, Which Candidates Have a Leg Up in Fundraising?

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Democrat Alison Friedman is hoping to unseat Republican-incumbent Barbara Comstock in the state’s 10th Congressional District. (Credit: alisonforvirginia.com)

Candidates for Congress are raising and spending millions of dollars in advance of next week’s primary election. Michael Pope reports.

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Three Republicans Battle To Take On Tim Kaine

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Republicans will be heading to the polls June 12 to select a candidate to take on Senator Tim Kaine this fall. Michael Pope reports.

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The Politics of ICE in Virginia

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Credit: ICE

As the campaign season heats up heading into the primary this month, the issue of immigration is at the forefront in many campaigns. Michael Pope explains.

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‘Help not Death’ Rallying Cry of Crowd

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Princess Blanding, the sister of Marcus-David Peters, who was fatally shot by Richmond police, speaks before a march on Saturday. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Hundreds took to the streets in Richmond this weekend to demand more from Richmond Police, following the fatal shooting of an unarmed man who charged at an officer. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Va. News: Charlottesville Therapy for Mental Illness, Medical Marijuana Processor Licensees

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Medical marijuana processing may soon bring some much needed jobs to Virginia’s most economically depressed region. And there’s an effort underway in Charlottesville to help mentally ill offenders get community support instead of jail time.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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How Much Local Government Business Should Go On Behind Closed Doors?

foia_stockA legal fight over public access to local government is raising new questions about Virginia’s Freedom of Information law. Michael Pope has the story.

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