Archive for October, 2019

Just How Far Should the Freedom of Information Act Go?

foia_stockPublic money is often handed over in the form of grants. But, there’s a debate about how much of that process should be public information. Michael Pope reports.

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State Officials Are Touring Virginia in Hopes of Cutting Down on Maternal Mortality Rates

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Credit: Wellness GM / Flickr

Virginia government officials are on the road this fall, listening to the concerns of women across Virginia about delivering babies. It’s an effort aimed at curing the crisis in maternal mortality for African-American women. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Is for Apple Lovers

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Owner Charlotte Shelton touts the taste of heritage apples. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

When it comes to apple production, Virginia ranks sixth in the nation – well behind the leader: Washington State.

It’s worth noting, however, that farmers here offer a huge variety and our cider industry is growing.

Sandy Hausman stopped at this state’s oldest cidery to learn more about the fruit and its delectable juice.

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Va. News: Dolphins Swimming in the Potomac, Efforts in Amherst to remove Elected Official

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Washington, DC isn’t the only place where controversy has arisen over whether an elected official should be removed from office…and the return of dolphins in large numbers to the Potomac River is a sign of change.

 

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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One Group Wants Virginia Candidates to Disclose Where Their Contributions Come From

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Credit: NPR

One watchdog group is worried about government ethics in Virginia. And, it’s challenging candidates for the General Assembly to do something about it. Michael Pope reports.

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Pretty Poison; VT Study First to Confirm Invasive Plants Threaten Native Wildlife

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  Jacob Barney and six graduate students conducted the first-ever comprehensive meta-analytic review examining the ecological impacts of invasive plants. Shown (l-r): Cody Dickinson, Ariel Heminger, Becky Fletcher, Gourav Sharma, Jacob Barney, Rachel Brooks, and Vasiliy Lakoba.
(Credit Virginia Tech)

The first comprehensive study of the effects of invasive plants on indigenous wildlife is sobering.

Researchers at Virginia Tech found that when invasive plants take over an area they actually alter the ecosystem, depleting native animals’ natural food sources.

As Robbie Harris reports, this phenomenon is a major driver of wildlife extinction. And the researchers say it’s even worse than they thought.

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Cline, Riggleman Bemoan Hyper-Partisanship During Joint Town Hall Meeting

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Congressman Ben Cline (left) joins fellow Republican Denver Riggleman during a joint town hall meeting in Bedford Wednesday night. (Credit: Nick Gilmore / RADIO IQ)

Virginia’s 5th and 6th Congressional Districts cover a massive portion of the state – stretching from northern Virginia all the way to the North Carolina line. They also each include a segment of Bedford County, where the two Republicans who hold those seats conducted a joint town hall meeting Wednesday night. Nick Gilmore has details.

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State Education Officials to Consider Making School Funding More Equitable

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Credit: Pascal Volk / Flickr

Is the way Virginia funds its schools equitable? That’s a topic up for debate in Richmond. Michael Pope reports.

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The Complicated Effect of Phragmites in the Chesapeake Bay

M.K. Miles amid phragmites

M. K. Miles amid phragmites at the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

The phragmites invasion began when it hitched a ride here with European colonists.

Today, the tall reed lines Virginia’s waterways, and wetlands, taking over native habitats and clogging waterways throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

But with climate change, the pesky plant is being considered in a different way. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Does Virginia’s Tax Code Disproportionately Hurt Low-Income People?

StateSeal00Wealthy people are taxed more in Virginia. But, people at the other end of the spectrum may be feeling more of the pinch. Michael Pope reports.

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ACLU Complaint: Medical Practice Fired Two Women Because of Race

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Tyesha Brooks (left) and Titilayo Shiyanbade (right) say they were told they fired because of “cultural changes” in the office. (Credit: ACLU of Virginia)

Federal anti-discrimination laws that protect workers often don’t apply to employees of small businesses. But a rarely used Virginia state law does. Now the ACLU of Virginia has taken up a case, in part, to show employees of small businesses that they also have protections. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Could Water from Abandoned Coal Mines Lure Data Centers to SWVA?

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(Credit SparkFun Electonics via flickr.com / CC)

Loudoun County has the world’s largest concentration of data centers. But what about Southwest Virginia?

Michael Pope reports on one economic development effort to bring data centers to coal country.

 

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Climate Change Experiment Fast-Forwards the Chesapeake Bay to the Year 2100

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Senior scientist Patrick Megonigal showing native wetland grass outside an experimental chamber. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Scientists in Maryland have transported parts of a marsh into the next century.

They are looking at the future effects of global warming and increased carbon dioxide on wetlands around the Chesapeake Bay.

In her occasional series on climate change resilience, Pamela D’Angelo talks with some of the scientists behind the project.

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Stakes are High as Political Newcomer Tries to Unseat House Speaker

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Sheila Bynum-Coleman, Democrat, is taking on Speaker of the House Kirk Cox, Republican.

The national political discussion may be focused on the 2020 Presidential election… but first, here in Virginia, there’s 2019.

In a month all 140 state lawmakers are up for election.

Party control of the General Assembly is at stake.

Mallory Noe-Payne has a look at one of the most important races of the year.

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Despite Local Government Concerns, Small-Cell Towers Will Soon Be Headed to a Neighborhood Near You

StateSeal00New wireless technology is being installed on utility poles across Virginia. It’s thanks to a new law that’s opened the floodgates for small-cell technology. Michael Pope reports.

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Analysis: Work Requirements Could Knock 74,000 Off Medicaid Rolls

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Remember those work requirements Republicans insisted on before passing Medicaid expansion?

They haven’t been implemented yet. And Michael Pope reports the governor’s office is still negotiating with federal officials to strike a deal.

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UVA Researcher Develops Tool to Guide Patients Toward Best Breast Cancer Treatment

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  Randy Jones, professor of nursing; Pat Hollen, professor emerita of nursing; Crystal Chu, graduate nursing student; and Dr. Lynn Dengel, a surgeon at the UVA Medical Center.
(Credit University of Virginia)

When actress Angelina Jolie learned she was at high risk for breast cancer, she opted to have both breasts removed and reconstructed.

Since then, many women who are not at high risk have — nevertheless – followed her lead.

Now, a PhD candidate at the University of Virginia’s School of Nursing hopes to reverse that trend as Sandy Hausman reports.

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If Dry Spell Continues, Virginia Farmers Will Take a Hit

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September is over. And for some parts of the state, including Danville and Bluefield, it was the driest September on record.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports if the dry spell continues, it could mean a big hit to the bottom line for many farmers.

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High Interest Lenders Investing in General Assembly Campaigns

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Car-title lenders and internet lenders have stepped up their campaign contributions in recent years.

So far this election cycle the industry has given about $840,000 and more campaign cash may be on the way before Election Day.

Michael Pope explains why.

 

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