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Concern Builds For Culturally And Environmentally Sensitive Fones Cliffs


Fones Cliffs and the area mistakenly cleared.

Two years ago Richmond County, in Virginia’s Northern Neck, approved a controversial plan to build a large golf-course resort on a pristine cliff-top perched over the Rapphannock River.

Fones Cliffs is a favorite roosting spot for migrating and local bald eagles. It was also once occupied by the Rappahannock tribe more than 400 years ago. Last year, it was sold to five New York investors for $12 million. The 964-acre site is slated for a championship golf course, restaurant and bar and more than 700 houses.

But developers are off to a bad start after illegally clearing over 13 wooded acres. Pamela D’Angelo reports.


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Delegate: Strip Searches Needed To Fight Opioids

General Assembly 2018-01Lawmakers in Richmond are considering a number of bills responding to the opioid crisis.

Sheriffs across Virginia are worried that the opioid crisis is coming to a jail near you. That’s why they are asking Delegate Patrick Hope, a Democrat from Arlington, to introduce legislation allowing strip searches of inmates.

Michael Pope reports.


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A “Gentle” House of Delegates Tradition Gives Way

Danica Roem

Del. Danica Roem, D-Prince William, the first transgender delegate, takes her oath of office during opening ceremonies of the 2018 session of the Virginia House of Delegates at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.

Lawmakers in Richmond are dealing with a number of firsts walking the hallways, including the first lesbian first Asian-American woman lawmakers.


The House of Delegates is a place that loves its traditions. Like referring to the gentleman from Roanoke or the gentlewoman from Prince William. But Republicans are abandoning that tradition now that they are facing the first transgender delegate.

Michael Pope reports.


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Some Republicans And Democrats Find Common Ground In Opposition To Offshore Drilling

California Offshore Oil

This undated photo provided by the California State Lands Commission shows Platform Holly, an oil drilling rig in the Santa Barbara Channel offshore of the city of Goleta, Calif.
Credit (State Lands Commission via AP)

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from Virginia are upset over the Interior Department’s plans to open up waters off the east coast to oil and gas drilling.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is under fire from lawmakers up and down the east coast who oppose his plan to allow oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. But the anger turned to outrage last week when Florida was given a waiver that blocks drilling off that states shores.

Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

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Richmond Group Boosts Inclusivity In Arts Community


BAAAR exhibit at Richmond’s annual 2nd Street Festival
Credit P. Muzi Branch/BAAAR

A Richmond group is working to ensure the contributions of Black artists are included in the city’s thriving cultural scene.


The Black American Artists Alliance of Richmond wants to see more Black art in museums, galleries and corporate collections across the city and state. Members include a muralist, a musician, even a quilt maker.

Samantha Willis has the story.

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Western Virginia Lawmakers Pushing Pipeline-related Legislation

Virginia Inauguration

(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Lawmakers from southwest Virginia are pushing several bills responding to controversial plans to build natural gas pipelines in Virginia.

Michael Pope has more on their proposals.

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Interview: McAuliffe Reflects on Time as Virginia’s Governor

Terry McAuliffe, Elizabeth Guzman

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, left, waves to the gallery as he arrives to address a joint session of the the 2018 session in the House chambers at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Terry McAuliffe’s term as Governor of Virginia is coming to an end. McAuliffe’s official portrait was unveiled this week. In it he has his hand on an executive order. The one where he restored voting rights to former felons.

McAuliffe spoke with Virginia Public Radio’s Mallory Noe-Payne.

She began by asking whether that order was one of his proudest moments.

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Democrats Hope New Delegates Improve Medicaid Expansion Odds

Wendy Gooditis, Tia Walbridge

Wendy Gooditis speaks to supporters during her campaign for the House of Delegates.  (AP PHOTO/STEVE HELBER)

After years of pushing for expanding Medicaid, Democrats are hopeful that they’ll be able to use their new members in the House to finally make it happen.

For freshman Delegate Wendy Gooditis, a Democrat from Clarke County, the fight is personal.

Michael Pope explains why.


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After Years Of Trying, Congress Approves Recognition Of Virginia Tribes

Washington Weather


Six Virginia Native American tribes are cheering.

After a twenty-year effort, the United States Senate unanimously approved legislation that recognizes the Commonwealth’s tribes.

Correspondent Matt Laslo reports from Washington.

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Lexington Looks To Avoid Conflicts Over MLK, Lee-Jackson Parades


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks April 15,1967 at a peace rally in New York City. January 15th is the birthday of the late civil rights leader. (AP Photo/stf)

In light of the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville over the summer, Lexington residents wishing to honor Martin Luther King Jr. have opted for compromise over controversy.

Jessie Knadler has more on the potential conflict with the Lee-Jackson state holiday.

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Governor Terry McAuliffe Delivers Final State of the Commonwealth Address

Terry McAuliffe, Israel O'Quinn

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe , center, shakes the hand of Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, left, after addressing a joint session of the the 2018 Virginia General Assembly for his last State of the Commonwealth address in the House chambers at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe gave his final State of the Commonwealth speech in Richmond Wednesday night.

He celebrated Virginia’s growing economy and low unemployment, and said his greatest pride while in office was restoring voting rights to former felons.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports on the speech.

Michael Pope has reaction from Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

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Cox Elected House Speaker On Traditionally Unanimous Vote

Kirk Cox

House speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, looks to the gallery after being elected speaker during opening ceremonies of the 2018 session of the Virginia House of Delegates at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Despite the drama in the last few weeks about who will control the Virginia House of Delegates, the session kicked off Wednesday with a unanimous vote for speaker.

Delegate Kirk Cox now holds the gavel and the title of Speaker of the House.

Michael Pope reports from the House floor.

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Medicaid, Gun Violence at Top of Incoming Governor’s Agenda

Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam

Virginia Gov.-elect, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, left looks to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, right, as they detail their legislative package at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Democratic Governor-Elect Ralph Northam says expanding medicaid and reducing gun violence are at the top of his legislative agenda. He unveiled his priorities in Richmond Tuesday, along with current Governor Terry McAuliffe.

In a joint press conference, the incoming and outgoing Governors said they’re on the same page about what to throw their weight behind this legislative session. Policy proposals include a carbon trading plan, legislative protection for abortion rights, and no excuse absentee voting.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Women’s Equity Movement Extends To Hygiene Product Legislation



Two female lawmakers are introducing legislation as part of a growing movement to help women achieve equity.

It’s called menstrual equity. It’s a growing movement that’s prompting legislation in Washington and in state capitals across the country, including several this year in Richmond.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Democratic Voters Appeal Judge’s Decision In Fredericksburg Area Race

Session Midway

The Virginia House of Delegates in session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Last week a federal judge in Alexandria denied a request from Fredericksburg voters to throw out the results of an election where dozens of voters were given the wrong ballot.

Now, as Michael Pope reports, those voters are appealing the case.

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Virginia Women’s Coalition Calls for No Cost Birth Control

Virginia Inauguration

(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition unveiled its 2018 legislative agenda Monday.

It includes paid family leave, equal pay, and no cost birth control. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Va. News Topics: A Realistic School Lesson And Snow Plow Art

VPAPnewSome recent artwork by students in Craig County is literally hitting the road this winter
and some parents in Fairfax County found an elementary school history lesson to be a
little too realistic.

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

Click here to visit the Virginia Public Access Project

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