Archive for July, 2019

The Effort to Diversify Virginia’s Teachers

StateSeal00The vast majority of teachers in Virginia are white, a cause of concern for some who say more diversity is needed in the classroom. Michael Pope reports.

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Trump and Other Leaders Celebrate 400th Anniversary of American Democracy at Jamestown

StateSeal00Citing what he called “four incredible centuries of history, “President Donald Trump closed out Tuesday’s ceremony in Jamestown, celebrating in the same place where the legislative body first met. Jeff Bossert reports.

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The Port of Virginia Would Face Significant Impacts From Proposed Tariffs

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Credit: The Port of Virginia

The Port of Virginia and other port and terminal operators across the country are pushing back against a new round of proposed tariffs on imports from China. Michael Pope reports.

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A Look Back at the Virginia Colony in 1619

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A map of the Colony of Virginia, drafted by Dutch cartographer Willem Blaeu.

A number of events are scheduled to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first General Assembly session on July 30th, 1619.

Michael Pope has this look at what was happening at the time.

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Va. News: UVA works to memoralize Enslaved Workers, a physician’s tips for Electric Scooter safety

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Rental scooters provide a new transportation alternative but if riders get careless they could finish their trip in an ambulance.

And the University of Virginia is working to memorialize the contributions of enslaved people.

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

More from Fred Echols.

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Middle-Skills Jobs Becoming Harder to Find

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Employers across Virginia are demanding more of workers, and that’s changing the job market. Michael Pope reports.

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Congressman Cline’s Bankruptcy Bill Headed to Senate With Bipartisan Support

400px-Ben_Cline,_official_portrait,_116th_CongressThe Mueller hearings dominated the headlines on Capitol Hill this week. But action was still happening on the House floor with a Virginia congressman’s reform of chapter 11 bankruptcy. Michael Pope has details.

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License Suspended? You May Be Eligible To Get it Back

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Governor Ralph Northam greets workers at a mobile DMV office in Roanoke. (Credit David Seidel)

Just under 35,000 people in Virginia have gotten their driver’s license back. That’s since July 1st, when a new policy stopped the practice of suspending licenses as a punishment for not paying court fines.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the next push is reaching the hundreds of thousands who are eligible, but just need to apply.

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When it Comes to Small-Dollar Donations, Democrats Are Out-Raising Republicans

virginia_flag_map_0Campaign-finance disclosures show business groups and corporations are donating to Republican incumbents in this year’s General Assembly races. But, Democrats are leading in smaller donations. Michael Pope reports.

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Big Spenders Don’t Always Win Elections, But They Win Quite Often

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

For candidates trying to get elected, spending money isn’t everything. But as Michael Pope reports, it’s often a sign of success.

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Marijuana Arrests in Virginia Reach 20 Year High

StateSeal00According to Virginia police, arrests for possessing marijuana are on the rise in the Commonwealth. In 2018, almost 30,000 people were impacted. That’s triple the number from the late 90’s. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Donors Look to Protect Interests in 2019 Election

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New campaign finance disclosures are revealing the contours of Election 2019.

Michael Pope explains how.

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Va. News: Database shows opioid stats in Martinsville, a New Way of raising poultry

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Organic chicken farming and industrial chicken production have been polar opposites up until now. But a Virginia man is looking to change that.

And newly released numbers show how some Virginia communities have been inundated by opioids. 

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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Virginia’s Congressional Delegation Takes Opposite Sides on Minimum Wage Vote

virginia_flag_map_0Democrats in the House of Representatives have taken action to raise the minimum wage. But will workers see a benefit? Michael Pope reports.

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UVA Study Shows Women and Seniors at Greater Risk of Car Crash Injuries

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  Experts say new crash dummies and computer models may help design safer cars for women and people over 65.  (Credit UVA)

A team of engineers at the University of Virginia reviewed data from nearly 23,000 crashes and concluded there are some big problems with car safety systems.

Sandy Hausman reports that women and people over 65 are at extra risk.

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Virginia is for Outdoor Lovers Too

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Credit: Nick Gilmore / RADIO IQ

You’ve heard that Virginia is for lovers, but state officials are hoping you’ll also soon think of the Commonwealth as a home for outdoor lovers too. Nick Gilmore explains.

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Analysts: Photo Fallout Creates Challenges for Northam PAC

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Gov. Ralph Northam

It’s been five months since Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s blackface scandal upended Virginia politics.

Now, as Michael Pope reports, new campaign finance disclosures show the governor’s political action committee is up and running.

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Water Power’s Potential in Virginia

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Grande Dixence is the tallest gravity dam in the world. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

Faced with worrisome warnings of climate change, Virginia is weighing green options for producing energy.

Solar and wind are sources favored by this state’s two largest utilities, but what about water power?  Virginia is blessed with mountains and rivers.

Sandy Hausman traveled to a place where dams provide 60-percent of the power to report on the prospects for hydro in Virginia.

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Some Incumbents Facing Stiff Fundraising Challenges from Opponents

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Credit: NPR

The latest round of campaign-finance documents are shedding new light on the contours of Election 2019. Michael Pope is looking at the numbers.

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Advocates Look for Warning Signs from ICE in Virginia

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Credit: ICE

This past weekend undocumented immigrants across Virginia braced for raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As of Tuesday, those threats appear not to have materialized. Still advocates say there’s been an uptick in safety checkpoints. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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The Future of Congressman Scott’s Effort to Raise the Minimum Wage is Unclear

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Congressman Bobby Scott

The House of Representatives is set to vote this week on raising the minimum wage. And, Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott is leading the charge. Michael Pope reports.

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Wildlife Center’s Plea for Possums

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  Alex Wehring and educational outreach possum Posey enjoy an eclectic lunch at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. (Credit Sandy Hausman)

This month the Wildlife Center of Virginia marked a milestone: Caring for its 800,000 patient – a possum.

In years past, rabbits have been the most common animals cared for at the clinic in Waynesboro, but today it’s possums that claims the title.

Sandy Hausman reports on why those animals are vulnerable to injury and why you might want to protect them.

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Southwest Virginia’s Unemployment Rate May Be Misleading

StateSeal00Unemployment is going down in Southwest Virginia. But, that might be more alarming than you think. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Rains in Arlington tear down Historic Wall, High School League online gaming

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Virginia students who might not be all that interested in traditional sports now have a chance to represent their high schools in a new kind of competition. And a storm has taken down much of what remained of a 1930’s “segregation wall.”

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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New Data Shows Several Shrinking Localities Across Virginia

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Danville is one locality that could see a significant population decline over the next couple of decades. That’s according to some new data from UVA’s Weldon Cooper Center. (Credit: Miguel Gereda / Creative Commons)

Many parts of Virginia are declining in population, a trend that’s only expected to increase in the coming years. Michael Pope has this forecast.

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FEMA Says Now is the Time to Sign Up for Flood Insurance

800px-FEMA_logo.svgHurricane season is officially here, and FEMA is encouraging residents across Virginia to get flood insurance now before it’s too late. Michael Pope reports.

You can see what kind of danger you’re in by visiting the FEMA’s online Flood Map Service Center. Just type your address in to see what the risk of flooding is at your property.

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New Technology Could Detangle the Dangerous Relationship Between Sharks and Commercial Fishermen

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The number of shark attacks on the east coast has increased, but experts say we shouldn’t blame them.

The problem, they claim, is the human population keeps growing, and more people are going to the beach.

And sharks are themselves under attack.  Sandy Hausman reports on why, and on what Virginia scientists are doing to protect them.

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Special Session Demonstrates Issues with Guns in Public Spaces

StateSeal00Lawmakers are returning home to their districts this week after a special session on gun control empty handed. Michael Pope reports Republicans blocked all reform efforts, even ones suggested by Republicans.

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Analysis Shows Higher Minimum Wage Would Cost Some Jobs But Give Raises to Millions

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Credit: Chris Dlugosz via Flickr/CC

Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott is using his position as chairman of the Education and Labor Committee to push for a 15-dollar an hour minimum wage.

Michael Pope reports a new analysis is a mixed bag for that effort.

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Virginia Legislature Abruptly Adjourns Gun Session

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House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn asks Republican Speaker Kirk Cox to bring all eight of the governor’s gun-control bills to the House floor for an up or down vote. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Lawmakers are leaving the Capitol empty handed after a brief special session on gun control.

Michael Pope has this report from the Capitol.

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What to Expect From This Week’s Special Legislative Session

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Lawmakers will be returning to Richmond once again this week to consider gun-control legislation in the wake of the Virginia Beach shooting. Michael Pope has this preview.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been filing gun-related legislation to be considered during the session.

That includes Democratic Senator John Edwards. He has a bill that would allow local governments to ban firearms from meeting places like city council chambers.

Edwards has tried to get the measure passed before on behalf of Roanoke’s city council.

Other proposed legislation from Democratic lawmakers would reinstate Virginia’s one handgun purchase-a-month law, allow courts to remove guns from people deemed a risk to themselves or others, and make the penalty for leaving a loaded gun where a child can get it a felony.

Republican legislation includes efforts to increase the penalties for using a firearm during a crime, brandishing a gun at a law enforcement officer, and allowing state and local government employees to carry their gun on the job if they also have a concealed carry permit.

Republican Senator Amanda Chase says gun owners who are following the law shouldn’t be penalized for the bad behavior of others.

This November, ever seat in the General Assembly will be on the ballot — all 100 seats in the House of Delegates and all 40 seats in the state Senate.

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Virginia Localities Can Now Better Regulate Electric Scooters

StateSeal00Cities across Virginia are dealing with a new form of transportation — electric scooters. And now, they have some new tools to regulate. Michael Pope reports.

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Population Forecasts Show a Slowing Virginia

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Virginia is growing. But a new report says it may not be growing at the rate that was expected.

Michael Pope reports.

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Happy Hour Advertising is Now a Go in Virginia

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The A-frame sign advertising happy hour prices outside Pork Barrel Barbecue in Alexandria would have been illegal last month. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Bars and restaurants can now advertise their happy hour prices, a restriction that’s long plagued the industry. Michael Pope reports.

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Cleanup of Coal Train Derailment Could Take Weeks

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Spilled coal in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. (Credit: Chris Lowie/Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge)

Last week, 36 Norfolk-Southern train cars derailed, spilling thousands of tons of sand-like coal into a section of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Pamela D’Angelo spoke with the Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the cleanup.

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Virginia is a Leader in Saving Animals’ Lives

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Brittany Pierri, with the Richmond SPCA, is pictured with Jake Roos of Norfolk Animal Care Center. The Norfolk facility transfers animals to the Richmond facility. (Credit: Richmond SPCA)

Across Virginia fewer dogs and cats are being killed at shelters than ever before. In fact, 88% of dogs and cats in shelters now avoid euthanization. But animal welfare advocates want more. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Thousands Take Advantage of New License Reinstatement Policy

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  Governor Ralph Northam greets workers and customers at a mobile DMV office in Roanoke Tuesday. (Credit David Seidel)

Thousands of Virginians have already applied to have their drivers licenses reinstated.  And the program’s only days-old.

David Seidel explains.

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Big Winners in Virginia Can Now Stay Anonymous

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Credit: valottery.com

Starting this week, winners of the Virginia lottery can remain anonymous. Michael Pope reports.

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Advocates Believe Special Session on Gun Violence can be Successful

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After a mass shooting in Virginia Beach last month, Governor Ralph Northam said he would call state lawmakers back to Richmond to discuss gun violence and common sense ways to prevent it.

He had offered several bills them during the last legislative session, but none was approved.

Now, however, Sandy Hausman reports that Northam might actually succeed.

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NRA Says Its Goal is to “Protect the 2nd Amendment” in Special Session

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Lawmakers are about to return to Richmond for a special session focused on guns, a move prompted by the recent mass shooting in Virginia Beach.

Michael Pope has this preview of some of the options they’ll be considering.

And a note to listeners, this story contains the sound of gunfire.

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Amidst Growth and New Goals, Virginia Celebrates 50 Years of Medicaid

StateSeal00Virginia is celebrating 50 years of Medicaid this week. The state-run program provides health insurance to the poor. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam celebrated with state employees. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Portion of Historic Fones Cliffs Incorporated into Wildlife Refuge

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The view from Fones Cliffs
(Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Environmentalists have been fighting for more than a decade to preserve Fones Cliffs, a pristine, historic, miles-long section of orange-yellow bluffs towering nearly 100 feet over the Rappahannock River in the eastern part of Virginia.

On Saturday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife celebrated their new ownership of a section of the cliffs that will now be part of the Rappahannock River Valley Wildlife Refuge.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Va. News: History of UVA Statue being studied, 4-generation Richmond Family business being sold

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One of Virginia’s oldest family-owned companies is being sold… and another statue is causing a stir in Charlottesville. 

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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