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Pope & Schapiro: Abortion, History & Election Denial

Abortion is becoming a prime topic in two Virginia Congressional races.

Jeff Schapiro, political columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Michael Pope discuss the week in politics and state government.

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Help (still) Wanted, even as schools reopen

Across Virginia, schools are struggling to find enough teachers for the upcoming fall semester.

Michael Pope explains why.

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SOL test scores rebound, but still behind pre-pandemic performance

Student performance on Virginia Standards of Learning tests rebounded in the last school year.

But it’s still well-behind the performance logged before the pandemic.

David Seidel has a snapshot of the result.

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Can natural history and national history co-exist?

Thousands of gulls and terns have taken up residence at the historic Ft. Wool site.
(Credit: Meagan Thomas/Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources)

When the Virginia Department of Transportation started work on the Hampton Bridge and Tunnel Project, construction equipment displaced sea birds that had been nesting there for years. 

The situation alarmed bird lovers who lobbied the state to create a new place for terns and gulls. Experts identified a piece of land nearby and turned it into suitable habitat – removing trees and adding sand. 

The birds returned from their winter homes and happily settled in, but there’s a problem with the new arrangement as Sandy Hausman reports.

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With ‘Raising Lazarus’, Roanoke author Macy finds positives amid the opioid crisis

After covering the nation’s opioid crisis in the book and streaming series ‘Dopesick,’ Roanoke journalist and author Beth Macy has checked in with a second book on the issue. 

‘Raising Lazarus’ updates efforts to treat people struggling with addiction rather than send them to jail, and seek justice against drug manufacturers.

Macy talked with Jeff Bossert.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: The Inflation Reduction Act

We’ve all felt the sting of high inflation over the past few months.  So can federal legislation slow the climb of consumer prices?

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Craig Wright have more on one recent effort.

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For many across Virginia, dental health care is still out of reach—these programs are trying to bridge the gap

Until last summer, nearly 5 million Virginians lacked dental insurance.

Expansions to Medicaid in the past year have helped, but as Roxy Todd reports, there’s still a shortage of dentists in parts of the Commonwealth who are willing to accept low-income patients.

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Charlottesville residents reflect five years after Unite the Right

Nichole Flores (L), Mariana Teles, Hudson Galino and Thais Teles observe a moment of silence at UVA for the victims of Unite the Right. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

Five years after neo-Nazis and other white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, the city is still reflecting on what happened.

Several residents shared their stories and their conclusions with Sandy Hausman.   

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Cville photographer presents The Story of Us

Photos of those who stood-up to Unite the Right and their stories will be featured on Charlottesville’s downtown mall through September. (Credit: Eze Amos)

As Charlottesville observes the fifth anniversary of Unite the Right, a photographer who documented the Summer of Hate five years ago presents a show in the trees along the city’s downtown mall.

Rather than focus on right-wing extremists, it features those who stood up to them.  Sandy Hausman has that story.

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Get up close with Virginia’s first offshore wind turbines

Dominion Energy has studied these test turbines and is ready to build 176 more. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

State regulators have now approved plans for the largest offshore wind farm in the nation.

Already, Dominion Energy has completed testing of two turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach.  

Sandy Hausman joined other journalists on a trip to see how those windmills are working, when we can expect to see more, and how much this might cost consumers.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: The Misery Index

In the dictionary of economic terms, “misery index” sounds particularly menacing.  So what exactly is it?

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Craig Wright explain it and its impact.

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Pope & Schapiro: Chips, approval ratings and an old scandal

An old, alleged scandal is back in the news.

Jeff Schapiro, political columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Michael Pope discuss the week in politics and the General Assembly.

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A call to ban menhaden fishing from a surprising place

(Credit: VIMS)

For more than a decade, environmentalists and sportsmen have asked the state to ban industrial fishing for menhaden – a tiny, oil-rich fish that feeds striped bass, bluefish, marine birds and mammals. 

This year, a company that uses menhaden in fish oil supplements gave some $2,700 dollars in campaign contributions to Democrats — and ten times that much to Republicans, according to data from the Virginia Public Access Project. 

But as Sandy Hausman reports, a member of the GOP is now leading the charge to end menhaden fishing in the Chesapeake Bay.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: The labor force squeeze

Virginia saw a big drop in unemployment in June.  But the Now-Hiring signs are still out for all sorts of businesses and industries.

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Weekend Edition host Craig Wright explore the work force squeeze.

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State park’s aerial attraction

In mid June, fireflies rise from the forest below High Bridge. (Credit: Sandy Hausman

The state of Virginia has 41 parks where visitors can hike, fish and camp.  But only one allows people to cross a river 125 feet in the air. 

Sandy Hausman reports on the longest recreational bridge in Virginia – a structure that’s open day and night to those in search of adventure.   

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Full Disclosure Briefing: The big picture

You’ve probably heard plenty of stories about the ups and downs of gas prices, inflation, interest rates.  But are we missing the forest for the trees?

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Craig Wright take a step back to get a look at the bigger economic picture.

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UVA professor to study “social butterflies”

Professor Adrienne Wood won a grant from the National Science Foundation to study how people with large networks of friends and acquaintances built their networks. (Credit: UVA)

In a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, one in five Americans reported they sometimes or often felt lonely. 

The surgeon general blames a world in which technology and convenience have edged out real relationships. 

Whatever the reason, a psychologist at the University of Virginia is planning to study thousands of people – to determine how we might solve this problem.

Sandy Hausman reports.

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Va. News: Flying drones & a flower’s comeback

Smooth Coneflower (Irvine Wilson/Va. Dept. of Conservation & Recreation)

Chesterfield County has the answer for people wondering where they can safely fly their drones. And a flower that was on the verge of extinction is making a comeback.

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 and Edie Gross.

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Virginia’s prison population declined, but trailed the national average

Virginia’s prison population is on the decline. Michael Pope has this look at the numbers.

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Mass incarceration’s surprising toll

It makes sense that Virginia’s more populous localities have more people in prisons or jails. 

But a new study shows smaller cities and counties have lost an even bigger percentage of their populations as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Pope & Schapiro: Fallout from a poll and the Supreme Court

Fallout from the Supreme Court’s abortion decision and a business poll provided plenty of political chatter.

Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Michael Pope discuss the week in politics and state government.

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Spanberger joins effort to protect travel for abortion services

Rep. Abigail Spanberger

As other states take steps to ban abortions, Virginia may soon become a destination for the procedure.

But as Michael Pope reports, that’s only if it’s legal to travel across state lines to get one.

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The ups and downs of Virginia’s abortion numbers

The number of abortions performed in Virginia had been trending down.

Michael Pope takes a look at the data and some recent upticks.

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Virginia abortion fund will keep doing its work despite new difficulties

Abortion is now illegal in at least one of Virginia’s bordering states, and more could follow.

That means more women might need to make a potentially costly trip to Virginia for care. Reporter Jahd Khalil spoke with one organization that helps women with those bills.

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A 50 year shift to Virginia’s suburbs likely to move to the exurbs next

New data from the Census Bureau reveals a portrait of a changing Virginia.

Michael Pope takes a look at the numbers.

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UVA professor harvests silver from solar

Professor Mool Gupta won a grant from the National Science Foundation to fine-tune his method for removing silver from used solar panels. (Credit: UVA)

As prices for solar panels have come down, more and more people are putting them up. But those panels have a limited lifespan of 20 to 30 years.  

Experts now estimate that by 2050 the planet could be stuck with 78 million tons of used solar panels. 

Recycling is not cost-effective, but a University of Virginia professor may be on track to change that as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: At the midpoint of 2022

It’s been a tumultuous first half of the year economically with high inflation, high gas and housing prices and drops in the stock market.

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Craig Wright take a look at where we stand now and what we might see in the second half of the year.

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Youngkin says marriage equality is protected in Virginia. Advocates say not really.

The Supreme Court has largely done away with the constitutional right to abortion.  Now advocates are worried marriage equality may be next.

Michael Pope explains why.

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Pope & Schapiro: Board appointments & workplace orders

Some of the governor’s administrative moves and a trip out of state raised eyebrows this week.

Jeff Schapiro, political columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Michael Pope discuss the week in politics and state government.

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After recent mass shootings, attention turns to red flag laws

Recent mass shootings are bringing more attention to red flag laws as a tool to prevent violent incidents.

Michael Pope reports some communities are trying to increase awareness of Virginia’s law.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: Confidence in crypto?

Crypto was hailed as the currency of the future.  But it’s struggled lately as an investment.

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Craig Wright talk about some of its supporters and critics.

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Pope & Schapiro: Abortion takes center stage in Virginia politics

Get ready to hear a lot more about abortion in Virginia over the next year and a half.

Jeff Schapiro, political columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Michael Pope explain why.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: The impact of a federal gas tax holiday

Virginia legislators turned away a short-term break on the gasoline tax.  But now President Biden and some others are considering a similar federal gas tax holiday.

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Weekend Edition host Craig Wright talk about the potential impacts.

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Va. News: Cold cases and solar cars

Virginia police are hoping a new online database will help them solve some of their most difficult cases. And a team from the University of Virginia will be looking to shine in a national solar car competition.

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 and Edie Gross.

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Pope & Schapiro: Congressional primaries & a signed state budget

The stage is now set for this fall’s mid-term Congressional elections.

Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Michael Pope have more on that and other news from the General Assembly.

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Vega, Kiggans win Congressional primaries

Voters in five Congressional districts selected candidates yesterday in primary elections, setting up the races for this fall.

Michael Pope reports.

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Abortion funding ban turned down by General Assembly, HBCU scholarships approved

As the country awaits a U. S. Supreme Court decision, abortion remains a divisive topic in Richmond.

Late Friday, lawmakers rejected an amendment from the governor to block state funding for the procedure, as Michael Pope reports.

Lawmakers narrowly approved a budget amendment from the governor that redirects money for financial assistance for college students.

Michael Pope reports the move wasn’t without controversy.

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Pope & Schapiro: Budget amendments and Congressional primaries

The General Assembly takes up Governor Glenn Youngkin’s budget amendments later today.

Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Michael Pope have more on that and a look at next week’s Congressional primaries.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: Saving Social Security

Social Security recipients got the largest cost of living adjustment in decades this year.  But the long-term future of the system is still in trouble.

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Craig Wright have more on a new proposal to shore it up.

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Pope & Schapiro: Et tu Delegate?

This spring’s leadership change in House Democratic Caucus was dramatic, but it wasn’t without precedent.

Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Michael Pope discuss some of the more notable House of Delegates leadership coups of the past few decades.

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New Parole Board chair pledges transparency and second chances

Chadwick Dotson (Credit: Appalachian School of Law)

Virginia has not offered parole to people convicted of crimes since 1995. But about 2,500 men and women were convicted of breaking the law before then, and they could still win early release if the parole board feels they pose no threat to society. 

Many of those people feared they would have to wait another four years now that a Republican is governor.  But as Sandy Hausman reports, they could be surprised.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: Spiking housing costs

The COVID-19 pandemic changed how and where many people work.  Add in the pressure of inflation, and you have the recipe for spiking housing costs in metro areas like Richmond.

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Weekend Edition host Craig Wright talk about the impacts.

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Pope & Schapiro: A new budget and new leadership for Democrats

After months of delay, Virginia’s legislature has passed a budget.

Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Michael Pope have more on that and new Democratic leadership in the House of Delegates.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: Washington Commanders try to score a new stadium

The Washington Commanders have been making news off the field, as parts of the team’s proposals for a new stadium come to light.

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Craig Wright have more on the potential impact for Virginia.

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Lack of referees squeezes youth sports

18-year-old soccer official Riley Palmer (Credit: Christine Kueter)

It isn’t just COVID-19 that’s made it difficult to find referees for youth sports.

Many older refs have quit, and, as Christine Kueter reports, it’s even harder to find replacements willing to put up with rowdy spectators.

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Pope & Schapiro: New calls for gun violence legislation

As often happens, tragedies in other parts of the country can force Virginia to look inward at its own laws and communities.

Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Michael Pope have more on the impact of the Texas shooting, as well as new movement on a state budget.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: Context for Wall Street’s drop

It’s been a brutal spring for the stock markets.  They’ve recorded seven straight weeks of declines.

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Craig Wright offer some context for worried investors.

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Va. News: Clean energy vehicle fleets and a new opera

Fredericksburg has joined a multi-state program designed to help local governments switch over to clean energy vehicles.

And the Virginia court case that ended bans on interracial marriage will be commemorated with an opera.

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 and Edie Gross.

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Critics say education report paints inaccurate picture of Virginia schools

(Credit: Virginia Dept. of Education)

Thursday’s report from the state education superintendent painted a dire picture of Virginia’s schools.

Michael Pope reports it’s opened a debate about past decisions and the future.

Editor’s Note: The Virginia Education Association is a financial supporter of Virginia Public Radio.

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Groundbreaking Supreme Court case to get opera treatment

Virginia Opera and the Richmond Symphony have announced plans to create an original opera. 

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the project will tell the real-life story of the Virginia couple whose relationship paved the legal pathway for inter-racial and same-sex marriage.

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