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The reverberations of the Supreme Court throwing out the conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is being felt across the nation. Matt Laslo has the story from the Capitol.
Some listeners may remember that a few months ago, we brought you the story of long-lost African-American cemeteries throughout the state and a couple in Richmond. Now, some of those cemeteries are getting some much needed attention. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Virginia historians want your relics — photos, letters, newspapers, yearbooks — all in an effort to chronicle desegregation in the state. For more than 8 years, a database of primary sources related to the Commonwealth’s struggle to integrate its schools has quietly been growing at Old Dominion University. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Virginia’s two U-S senators are pushing legislation to help rural hospitals across the commonwealth get the same reimbursement rate for Medicare as their urban counterparts. Matt Laslo has the details from the Capitol.
There won’t be any picket lines later this month outside Kroger stores in Southwest and Central Virginia, West Virginia and Eastern Tennessee.
The union representing thousands of Kroger employees approved a new contract today—avoiding a potential strike. A lot of workers, though, weren’t too happy with the decision. Joe Staniunas has the story.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on June 6, 2016
Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe is fighting back against Republican criticism that his executive order restoring voting rights to former felons. The governor tells Virginia Public Radio’s Michael Pope that the clerical errors were from bad data from the Department of Corrections.
Posted in Virginia's News on June 6, 2016
Small dollar lending has become increasingly controversial in recent years, especially now that the number of automobiles repossessed by the car title lending industry doubled over the last three years. Now a new federal rule could mean an end to lending practices critics call predatory. Michael Pope has the story.
The justice system is supposed to be impartial, and fair. Many, though, assume justice isn’t blind when it comes to matters of race or income. But now an unlikely pair — a lawyer, and a software engineer — have used data to uncover bias in Virginia’s courts. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on June 6, 2016
Donald Trump and Loudon County disagree on what the presidential candidate’s newly renovated golf course is worth…and the city of Suffolk remains under federal scrutiny over past acts of racial discrimination in schools. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s V-A News link on V-PAP-dot-org. More from Fred Echols.
Western Virginia landowners have gone to court to keep kayakers and others from using creeks that cross their property…and conflicting federal rulings have put Virginia’s ocean fishing season at risk. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org.
A Pittsylvania County RV dealer says the county’s inventory tax is unfair to businesses like his and could force him to leave the area…and a controversial painting is drawing some criticism for a Virginia Beach museum. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org.
Posted in Uncategorized on June 1, 2016
Throughout Virginia, the conversation about confederate monuments is a sticky one. So a new art exhibition in Richmond is making the conversation visual. It’s an effort to have more voices heard in the debate about the future of confederate statues on Monument Avenue. Kelley Libby reports.
Around Virginia, the hottest primary on the ballot June 14 is the Republican contest in Hampton Roads. That’s where Republican incumbent Scott Rigell is stepping down after three terms in office. As Michael Pope reports, one of the candidates in that primary is buying hundreds of thousands of dollars in television time.
The hottest race on the ballot this year is likely to be in Northern Virginia, where freshman Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock is facing Democratic challenger LuAnn Bennett. Michael Pope reports.
Kroger and the food workers union have a new deal…one that will stop a possible strike next week. The tentative contract agreement comes after two days of negotiations between Local 400 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, and the biggest supermarket chain in the country. Joe Staniunas reports.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on May 25, 2016
The news that federal officials are scrutinizing campaign contributions to Governor Terry McAuliffe sets up another potential showdown between federal prosecutors and high-ranking elected officials in Virginia. It’s latest in a series of investigations in recent years. But as Michael Pope tells us, investigations don’t always lead to charges.
As the Virginia death toll from opiates continues to rise, two big healthcare groups recently endorsed new opiate prescription guidelines aimed at hospital emergency rooms in an attempt to curb the epidemic. Jessie Knadler talks to two ER physicians in Augusta County about the guidelines, and what it’s like to work on the front lines of the drug scourge.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on May 23, 2016
Republicans in the General Assembly are not just speaking out against Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe’s plan to restore voting rights to 200,000 former felons. They’re taking their case to court, filing a lawsuit in the Virginia Supreme Court. Michael Pope reports.
Posted in Virginia's News on May 23, 2016
Car-title lenders in Virginia may have dodged a bullet earlier this year when the Virginia General Assembly passed on reforming their industry. But the industry now faces a new threat from Washington. Michael Pope continues our coverage, with the latest on the new federal rule that could dramatically undermine predatory lending.
In our region, the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline has aroused controversy. So has another proposed natural gas line through Southwestern Virginia. A new study takes a look at local costs of the pipeline that would stretch from West Virginia to a compressor station in southern Virginia.
Now that the presidential election cycle is heating up, so is the job market for people who work in political organizations. Michael Pope reports.
Been out to a bar lately? Chances are you had more beer choices than you used to. That’s a sign of the state’s growing craft beer economy. The number of breweries in the Commonwealth has almost tripled in the past three years. Today, a look at that industry, and how it could change, as large out-of-state companies move into the market. Reporter Mallory Noe-Payne kicksoff with a question: Is big beer actually a boon for the local guys?
Posted in Virginia's News on May 17, 2016
When members of the General Assembly convened in January, they were considering more than a dozen bills aimed at cracking down on the car-title lending industry. All of those efforts were scrapped, though, when lawmakers decided against passing legislation and instead asked the state regulator to take action. Now new campaign finance numbers that show what was happening behind the scenes. Michael Pope reports.
Posted in Virginia's News on May 16, 2016
Across Virginia, local governments are balancing books any way they can. Some are raising taxes on hotel guests. Others are increasing the cost of street parking. Michael Pope has the story.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on May 16, 2016
Developers are hoping to build a giant pier at Virginia Beach and one city councilman wants the public to have free use of it….Virginia Tech is making plans to host a conservative columnist who said a previous invitation to the university was canceled. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org More from Fred Echols.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on May 12, 2016
Regulators at the State Corporation Commission are siding with car-title lenders against open government, denying a request for information from the Center for Public Integrity. But, as Michael Pope tells us, open government advocates are taking their case all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court.
Posted in Virginia's News on May 12, 2016
Devils Backbone, the eight year old craft brewery headquartered in Nelson County, was recently bought for an undisclosed sum by global beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev. Now, some Virginia fans of the scruffy indie brand are questioning whether the label has sold out. Jessie Knadler sat down with CEO Steve Crandall to find out what’s in store for the Virginia brewery.
A deadly shooting last month at an Airbnb rental in Virginia Beach is casting a tragic shadow over this week’s meeting of a Virginia Housing Commission work group. As Michael Pope tell us, the commission panel is set to take up a contentious issue that was unresolved from the General Assembly session: How should the state regulate Airbnb?
Posted in Virginia's News on May 9, 2016
Temperatures are creeping up — with highs hitting the 80s this week. That may mean it’s time to trade in that hot cup of coffee in the morning for something different. Cold brew coffee is a quickly growing sector of the caffeine marketplace, and a new company here in Virginia is finding a way to cash in. It didn’t take much to convince reporter Mallory Noe-Payne to bring us their story.
Virginia’s fifth largest school district is considering a big change — pushing up its start time for high schools by more than 2 hours, from 7:20 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Chesterfield County, just outside of Richmond, represents the latest in an incremental push statewide to get on board with what scientists, psychologists and educators are all saying: students, especially teens, need more sleep.
Newly released numbers from the Census Bureau show Virginia added more than 160,000 people last year, although that growth wasn’t distributed evenly. As Michael Pope tells us, some of Virginia’s most urban areas lost more people than they gained.
For the first time, last fall, more students of color walked into public schools for first grade, than white students. But even as this country gets more diverse, many school systems still remain segregated.
To help understand why, and what can be done, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University compared approaches to integration taken by four southern cities. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports in the first of two reports, the least successful was right here in Virginia.
Desegregation in the South hasn’t always had a lasting impact. Research shows many public schools are more segregated now than ever before — including here in Virginia.
But one researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University took a look at some practices that have worked. Mallory Noe-Payne reports in this second report, the key is regional cooperation.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on May 9, 2016
An April cold snap all but wiped out the peach crop in Virginia’s northern Shenandoah Valley…and there’s some confusion about an effort to revive the oyster population off Virginia Beach. Those have been among the most read stories this week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org.
Posted in Virginia's News on May 6, 2016
Frustration is growing in both parties on Capitol Hill because pressing national issues are going unaddressed, which has led to some questioning whether the gridlock will hurt the Republican Party, which controls both chambers of Congress. Matt Laslo reports.
It’s been less than a year since the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages will be recognized nationally. Now the Virginia Supreme Court is getting into the act. The commonwealth’s highest court is making a move toward divorce equality. Michael Pope reports.
It’s been less than a year since the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages will be recognized nationally. Now the Virginia Supreme Court is getting into the act. The commonwealth’s highest court is making a move toward divorce equality. Matt Laslo reports.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on May 2, 2016
The Roanoke City Board of Elections agreed to reprint 15,000 ballots after a candidate for city council said voters might not recognize her name on the originals…and several Virginia law enforcement agencies took part in a demonstration that showed how drones can help in help in emergency searches. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.
Posted in Virginia's News on April 29, 2016
Virginia’s car-title lending industry has exploded in the six years since the General Assembly crafted regulations legalizing loans that have more than 200 percent interest rates. But Virginia is not alone. States across the country are struggling to deal with payday loans and Internet loans and open-ended credit loans – a set of financial products critics call “predatory lending.” As Michael Pope reports, that’s why lawmakers in Washington are hoping to create new rules to crack down on the industry.
Although the line of questioning by jurists in any appeals case does not necessarily indicate how they’re leaning, in the appeal of former Governor McDonnell’s corruption convictions, the U.S. Supreme Court justices did NOT seem comfortable with the broad interpretation of the federal law used to convict him. More from Tommie McNeil.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on April 26, 2016
Cheaper gasoline is good for many people but not so good for some of Virginia’s public transportation systems…and some residents in the Williamsburg area want to change the name of a school that commemorates a defender of segregation. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. Fred Echols has more.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on April 26, 2016
Just a few years ago, Bob McDonnell was a rising star in Republican politics. Now his fate is before the United States Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments Wednesday in the case that destroyed his political career and ripped his marriage apart. Michael Pope has this preview.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on April 25, 2016
The old saying goes there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But what about elected officials? Should they have to track the value of every meal they are given? Michael Pope has this story on the food fight now playing out in Richmond.
Do state regulators have authority to crack down on car-title lenders? Critics say the industry is predatory and traps consumers in a cycle of debt, and lawmakers asked the State Corporation Commission to take action two months ago. But as Michael Pope reports, regulators are still trying to determine if they have the authority to take action without a new law directing them to do so.
Lawmakers are back in Richmond this week to consider Governor Terry McAuliffe’s vetoes and amendments. So far, Republicans in the House have been able to overturn two of the governor’s amendments but they didn’t have the votes on the Senate side. So all the governor’s vetoes will stand. Michael Pope reports.
Posted in Virginia's News on April 15, 2016
In Washington, Virginia’s two senators are joining forces along with half a dozen other senators to help encourage states to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. As Michael Pope reports, the law is aimed at extending a deadline that’s already passed.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on April 15, 2016
Many of Virginia’s lawmakers own significant stock in some of the companies that do business with the state — including Dominion Power and Altria. That information was made accessible by the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit that tracks money in state politics. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on April 14, 2016
Lawyers involved in the corruption conviction of former Governor Bob McDonnell have been busy with a flurry of legal briefs back and forth as the date for oral arguments approaches at the U.S. Supreme Court. Michael Pope has the story.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on April 13, 2016
It’s tax time. Have you filed your tax return yet? If you have, you’re part of a system that funds most state government functions in Virginia. According to data from the Census Bureau, Virginia relies more on income taxes for its state revenue than almost any other state.
Posted in Daily Capitol News Updates on April 11, 2016
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is rejecting a bid to bring back the electric chair as the default method of executing criminals on Death Row. Instead, he’s proposing a plan that would allow the state to get lethal drugs from secret providers. Michael Pope reports.