Archive for June, 2021

Secretary of Finance: Budget Surplus Could be Close to $2 Billion

Virginia should see a budget surplus as high as $2 billion, the Secretary of Finance told the House of Delegates’ Appropriations Committee Wednesday, but much of the money would have to be deposited into legally required funds. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Broader Food Assistance Coming July 1

Starting July 1st thousands of more Virginians will be eligible for food assistance.

Jahd Khalil has this report on the new requirements and who can qualify. 

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Virginia’s Falling Birth Rate and What it Means for the Future

Birth rates are declining in Virginia, a trend that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. That could have dramatic consequences for decades to come. Michael Pope reports.

You can find more information here and here.

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Va. News: Debt Relief And Don’t Feed The Birds

Thousands of Virginians with unpaid medical bills are having those debts wiped out. And people in several Virginia counties are being asked not to feed wild birds.

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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Health Officials: Don’t Fall Behind On Other Childhood Vaccinations

Credit: CDC

Virginia is on the cusp of reaching President Biden’s goal for Covid-19 vaccinations.

69.6% of adults in the state have gotten at least one dose. Biden wanted 70% to have one by the Fourth of July.

Jahd Khalil reports on the shots that come after this goal. 

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House Ag Committee Looks to Make HCBU Scholarships Permanent; VSU President Gives Testimony

The expiration of the federal Farm Bill is coming. And since the bill includes millions in scholarships for students at historically black land grant universities, Virginia State University’s president headed to DC this week.

Jahd Khalil reports on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s plans for the scholarship money.  

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Liberation Party Candidate Princess Blanding to Be On November Ballot

Liberation Party Gubernatorial Candidate Princess Blanding (Credit: Foster Johnston)

Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin won’t be the only names on the ballot for governor. Michael Pope reports about another choice for voters.

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New Report: Virginia Is Religiously Diverse, Even in Rural Parts of the State

Credit: UVA Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service

Fewer people are attending religious services across the country. But new data from the University of Virginia shows a surprising amount of diversity in rural parts of the Commonwealth. Michael Pope reports.

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New Report: Traffic Fatalities Went Up in 2020 Despite Fewer Drivers on the Road

Charlie Klauer is a research scientist with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (Credit: Virginia Tech)

A new report shows disturbing trends in traffic fatalities in 2020, despite less driving. A Virginia Tech professor says the pandemic brought the perfect storm of conditions for high-risk behavior. Jeff Bossert reports.

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American Rescue Plan Money is Headed to Virginia; How Should the State Use It?

Credit: whitehouse.gov

The federal government is about to spend millions of dollars to rescue Virginia schools. So how will all that money be spent? Michael Pope reports.

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Pallets Are The Latest Pandemic-related Supply Chain Pinch Point

Karl Millsap and an employee at Blue Ridge Pallets in Lyndhurst. (Credit: Christine Kueter)

First it was toilet paper, then yeast, garden gnomes, and gas.

Now, as society reopens, it’s pallets that are in short supply, a behind-the-scenes commodity used to transport goods from factories and farms to distributors, retailers, and us.

Christine Kueter has that story.

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Attorney General Candidates Debate

Now that Republicans and Democrats have chosen their candidates for attorney general, voters are already seeing a bit of what the fall campaign season will look.

Michael Pope reports.

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UVA Museum Returns Sacred Art

Aboriginal artists welcome the return of sacred works from America.
(Credit Kluge-Ruhe Museum at UVA)

Charlottesville is home to this country’s only museum of art created by indigenous Australians. 

The Kluge-Ruhe has more than 2,100 paintings, ornaments and tools, but some of those objects are going home after decades in America. 

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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Report: OSIG investigation not thorough, investigator biased

Although no one interfered with an Office of the State Inspector General investigation of the Virginia Parole Board, its lead investigator on a contentious parole decision displayed bias and OSIG’s investigation was not adequately thorough, a law firm tasked with looking into OSIG’s investigation said in a report Monday. Jahd Khalil has details.

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New Polling Shows a Close Gubernatorial Race So Far

Credit: NPR

Now that candidates in the race for governor have been determined, a couple of new polls show it’s already a tight race. Michael Pope reports.

You can take a closer look at the polls here and here.

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Legislative Debates Over VMI Emerge

Debates over legislation governing the Virginia Military Institute are probably on the horizon, spurred by a report by the State Council of Higher Education For Virginia. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Va. News: Victim Assistance Funding Cuts And Eliminating An Eyesore

A pandemic-related funding cut is affecting some victims of domestic abuse in Virginia.  And Petersburg has had -no- success in trying to get rid of an abandoned hotel.

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

More now from Fred Echols.

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State Officials Considering New Heat Stress Regulations

State regulators are working on new standards to protect workers from heat stress. Michael Pope reports.

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This Week’s Primary Turnout Has Some State Democrats Worried

The low turnout in this week’s Democratic primary is causing some Democrats to worry about a lack of enthusiasm. Michael Pope reports.

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The Impact of an All NOVA Democratic Ticket This Fall

Democrats are heading into the fall campaign cycle with a ticket full of northern Virginia candidates. Michael Pope reports that might shape the election dynamics.

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Incumbents Face Unusual Number of Primary Challenges, And Some Fall

Tuesday’s primaries for House of Delegates were unusually competitive for incumbents.

Five lost the nomination for their current seats.

Jahd Khalil has more. 

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McAuliffe, Ayala, Herring Win Democratic Nominations

Terry McAulife speaks to supporters Tuesday night. (Credit: Michael Pope)

With Tuesday’s primaries now decided, the general election is already in high gear.

Michael Pope reports on the race for governor.

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No Immediate Decision On Lee Monument From Virginia Supreme Court

Protesters gather near the Lee Monument in the summer of 2020. (Credit: Mallory Note-Payne)

The Supreme Court of Virginia heard arguments Tuesday from people hoping to block the removal of the Lee Monument from the former Capital of the Confederacy.

Brad Kutner has more from Richmond.

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Virginia Votes: Speaking to Voters in Today’s Primary Election

Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ

Virginia Democrats find out tonight who will be their nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. Both Democratic and Republican voters in today’s primary are also picking several nominees for state delegate, and some local races. Election officials say turnout has been light. Joe Staniunas caught up with a few people who made it to the polls earlier today.

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Redistricting Commission Seeks Partisan Counsel, Citizen Member Democrats Oppose

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Citizen members that were selected by Democrats broke away from the rest of Virginia’s Redistricting Commission in two votes over the character of legal counsel the commission would hire in a meeting Monday. Jahd Khalil reports.

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JLARC Recommends Changes to Marijuana Policies

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission recommended that legislators make changes to Virginia’s new marijuana policies such as adding penalties and reconsidering eligibility for social equity licenses ahead of July 1st in a briefing Monday. Jahd Khalil reports.

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There’s a Voter Hotline Available Should You Face Any Problems at the Polls Today

For voters having a hard time casting a ballot in Tuesday’s primary, help is just a phone call away. Michael Pope has details.

If you’re having problems at your polling place, dial 866-OUR VOTE for the Election Protection Hotline. Help is available in English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and several other languages.

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Va. News: Discolored Water And Reparations For The Descendants of Slaves

The Virginia Theological Seminary has begun paying annual reparations to the descendants of slaves who built it.  And public water in a Northern Virginia neighborhood is so discolored people are afraid to use it.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s V-A news link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Experts Say Virginia Needs to Hire Many More Teachers and Support Staff

Students are flocking to Virginia schools. But, those schools are not adding staff to support all those new students. Michael Pope has details.

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Hikers Return to Appalachian Trail, Looking for Post-Covid Guidance

(Credit Jahd Khalil)

We know that being outside is one of the safest activities during Covid-19.  But last year, restrictions forced most long-distance hikers off the Appalachian Trail.

This year though, they are back probably above pre-pandemic levels.

Jahd Khalil hiked parts of the AT to find out why so many people are on the trail this year.  

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Glenn Youngkin Has Loaned $12 Million to His Campaign, More Could Be on the Horizon

Credit: Glenn Youngkin’s Campaign Twitter Page; @TeamYoungkin

Candidates are often forced to work the phones raising money. But, one wealthy candidate doesn’t have to worry about that. Michael Pope reports.

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New Climate Normals: A Warmer, Wetter Virginia

A NOAA employee in Asheville, North Carolina resets the index on a pair of minimum/maximum thermometers in a NOAA weather station. The index in the fluid marks the high and low of the day. (Credit: NOAA/Bryant Korzeniewski)

Every decade, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration releases a new analysis of average temperature and precipitation values across the country. The data is used to compile 30-year normals. Nick Gilmore reports on the latest findings and what exactly “normal” is.

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Lt. Gov. Candidate Flips on Dominion Donation Pledge

Credit: Dominion Energy Facebook Page

In recent years, many Democrats have started taking a pledge to resist money from one particular controversial source. Now, that is becoming an issue in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. Michael Pope reports.

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Democratic Candidates For Governor Meet For A Final Debate

The five Democrats running for governor in next week’s primary met for one final debate Tuesday night.

Michael Pope has a recap.

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Report Details Culture of Sexism, Racism at Virginia Military Institute

A state-ordered investigation into Virginia Military Institute found institutional racism and sexism are “present, tolerated, and left unaddressed.”

David Seidel says the report’s authors also accuse school administrators of trying to derail the investigation.

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Northam Ceremonially Signs Sick Leave Bill for Caregivers

Governor Northam backed a bill granting some home healthcare workers paid sick leave in March. Jahd Khalil was in Richmond Tuesday for a ceremonial signing of the legislation.

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Senator Kaine’s Effort to Combat Maternal Mortality Disparities

Black women continue to die in childbirth at much higher rates than white women. And now, Senator Tim Kaine is hoping to get the United States Senate to do something about it. Michael Pope reports.

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