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Northam Warns of Rising Hospitalizations

More Virginians are hospitalized today for coronavirus-related health issues than at any other point during the pandemic.

Governor Ralph Northam made that announcement during a COVID-19 briefing Wednesday.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more. 

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Job Loses Linger in Leisure & Hospitality Businesses

The pandemic has created a downturn across the economy.

But as Michael Pope reports, some industries have taken a particularly hard hit in Virginia.

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Officials Prepare for Vaccine Distribution as Soon as Mid-December

Credit: CDC

With recent positive news about COVID-19 vaccines from two major pharmaceutical companies, Virginia is now planning for distribution.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, state officials say the first round could happen as early as mid-December. 

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Could Community Ownership Save Mobile Home Parks?

Residents of Ray’s and Engleside communities in Fairfax County recording a video. They want the communities saved. (Credit: Cat Modlin-Jackson)

Mobile home parks have been a source of affordable housing since the 1970s.

Now, these communities are starting to disappear as land values rise, developments crop up and the structures start to wither with age.

But a movement to preserve the neighborhoods is gaining traction across the state.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story. 

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Va. News: Time Capsule Preservation and Norfolk Revitalization

A team at UVA is working to salvage damaged items from a recently unearthed time capsule. And what was expected to serve as a focal point in a revitalized area of Norfolk may never come to be.

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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Virginia Unemployment Dips, But Some are Leaving the Workforce

Virginia’s unemployment rate is down a bit, according to the latest data from the federal government.

Michael Pope explains the numbers.

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Northam: No New Restrictions Before Thanksgiving Holiday

Credit: CDC

Governor Ralph Northam is not announcing any new COVID-19 restrictions before the Thanksgiving holiday, despite the fact that the state is now reporting the highest number of daily new cases since the start of the pandemic.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Studies on School Segregation Highlight Challenges of Housing, Economics

Forced racial segregation of public schools ended decades ago in Virginia.

But as Michael Pope reports, new studies show Virginia schools remain segregated today.

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‘Legalization Will Happen’ Virginia Gov Says on Marijuana

Credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Virginia could be poised to become the first state in the south to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Governor Ralph Northam expressed full support Monday.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more. 

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House of Delegates to Continue Virtual Meetings but Republicans Vow to Limit Length of 2021 Session

Lawmakers are preparing for the upcoming session of the General Assembly.

And, as Michael Pope reports, it probably won’t be quite as long as the special session that just wrapped up.

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Should Wolves Return to Virginia?

North Carolina is trying to bring red wolves back from extinction. Could Virginia be next?
(Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

With so much attention focused on the presidential race, you may have missed this news from Colorado. 

That’s where, by just over one percent, voters asked their state to come up with a plan for reinstating wolves west of the continental divide.

There is also talk of bringing those animals back to Virginia as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Va. News: Council Cooperation and Sports Uncertainty

A story from Richmond this week has highlighted the effect of the pandemic on high school athletes. And there’s much co-operation among the nine members of Chesapeake City Council. Some people say it may be a little too much.

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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Seagrass Meadows Restored Off Eastern Shore

Scientists have restored vast sea grass meadows off Virginia’s Eastern Shore. (Credit: UVA)

Virginia is celebrating a 20-year experiment off the Eastern Shore – the restoration of vast seagrass meadows where marine animals live. 

As Sandy Hausman reports, it’s the largest project of its kind in the world, offering benefits on many fronts.

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What the Link Between Heat Islands and Redlining Looks Like in One Virginia City

Shade from tree canopy and less asphalt are two factors that can reduce a neighborhood’s temperature. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

A group of researchers set out to explore how climate change is interacting with decades-old housing policy.

They overlaid two sets of maps: One set showing how neighborhoods in over 100 US cities were “red-lined” in the 1930’s. The other showing surface temperatures of the same neighborhoods today. 

To learn more about what they found, reporter Mallory Noe-Payne took a drive around Richmond with one of the scientists behind the work.

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General Assembly’s Special Session is a Wrap

A marathon special session of the General Assembly is now over.

Michael Pope reports on one last debate over a criminal justice issue.

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Northam’s Budget Amendments Face Final Hurdle Monday

Now that election results are in, the process of passing a state spending plan is moving forward as members of the General Assembly resume their special session Monday.

Up for consideration are a handful of budget amendments from Governor Northam.

As Cat Modlin-Jackson reports, one of those is tied to a constitutional amendment that was on the ballot. 

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Va. News: Secrets Revealed and Gold Unearthed

A Virginia veteran has finally shared some long held secrets from World War Two. And talk of a comeback for gold mining has some Central Virginia residents upset.

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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Spanberger Claims Win

Democrat Abigail Spanberger is declaring victory in her reelection bid in Virginia’s 7th congressional district.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports she addressed supporters Wednesday night. 

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Some Voters Keep Election Day Tradition

Voters at a Richmond precinct (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

Officials with Virginia’s Department of Elections say it’s been a smooth election day so far.

There have been some minor and routine issues with voting machines. No reports of voter intimidation.

Reporters Mallory Noe-Payne and Michael Pope found lines to be be short, and voters moving quickly through the polls.  

Mallory Noe-Payne reports from Richmond:

Michael Pope reports from Northern Virginia:

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Va. Dept. of Elections Reports Few Problems So Far

Going into the last hours of voting, election officials are optimistic that high early voting numbers mean smooth voting for those planning to still cast their votes Tuesday.

2.75 million Virginians already cast their votes early.

Jahd Khalil reports that’s 69-percent of 2016’s total turnout. 

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COVID-19 Creates New Challenges for Homeless Looking to Escape the Cold

In Harrisonburg, buses shuttle people needing shelter to facilities that can better maintain physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Credit: Cat Modlin-Jackson)

As the nights get colder, many Virginians experiencing homelessness will try to navigate shelter systems upended by COVID-19.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has this look at how people across the state are preparing for an unprecedented winter.

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Va. News: Universal Basic Income & Community Rules

Richmond will be joining several other cities in testing the potential benefit of direct cash payments to low income families…and a Northern Virginia couple who decided to use Halloween to make statements about social issues has run afoul of community rules.

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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COVID-19 Outbreaks at Nursing Homes Smaller and Less Deadly Now Than in the Spring

Credit: CDC

While COVID-19 outbreaks at nursing homes in Virginia continue to be a leading cause of coronavirus deaths in the state, the average size and mortality rate of the outbreaks has significantly decreased in the months since the pandemic began.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Artists, Scientists Capture Ghosts of the Coast

“Unbound” drawing of roots by Barbara Hennig-Loomis (Photo Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

For Halloween, we bring you a different kind of ghost story. And it’s a ghost you’ve likely encountered.

Pamela D’Angelo reports from Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

Click here for more information about Ghosts of the Coast

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Ruling on Ballot Postmarks Likely to Impact Few Votes

A judge in the Shenandoah Valley says registrars cannot count ballots received after Election Day if they are missing information indicating when they were mailed.

The ruling strikes part of new voting regulations.

Jahd Khalil has more. 

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Judge Sides with Removal but Lee Statue will Stay Put Until Lawsuit Resolved

Protesters gather around the Lee Monument in Richmond last summer. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

We got a ruling Tuesday afternoon in the Lee Monument case in Richmond.

A judge has sided with state officials, saying they do indeed have the power to remove the last remaining Confederate statue on Monument Avenue.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the judge also said that can’t happen until an appeal plays out.

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Va. News: School Enrollment & “Halloween as Usual”

While some Virginia localities are trying to discourage trick-or-treating this year at least one city says it’ll be “Halloween as usual.”  And the pandemic is costing Virginia school systems millions of dollars in funding.

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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Amid Continuing Pandemic, Families Wait for Housing Help

A map of the 7th Congressional District

The congressional race in Virginia’s 7th District is one of the most competitive in the state.

It pits incumbent Democrat Abigail Spanberger against Republican challenger Nick Freitas.

The two met for their only debate Tuesday night.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more. 

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Amid Continuing Pandemic, Families Wait for Housing Help

Tammie Lyle had to quit her job to help her son during the school day. (Credit: Cat Modlin-Jackson)

Our pandemic reality is precarious… and many Virginians have struggled like never before to keep the lights on and pay the rent.

Since a special session began in the summer, members of the General Assembly have acted on a series of rules intended to provide relief for both tenants and landlords trying to make ends meet.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has this look at what made it through and what got left behind. 

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Elections Board gets Update on Postmarks, Other Issues

The state Board of Elections approved a regulation Tuesday that will count ballots with a missing or illegible postmark, as long as the ballots were received by noon on the Friday after Election Day.

Jahd Khalil has more. 

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No Immediate Ruling from Judge After Lee Statue Trial

Protesters gather around the Lee Monument last summer. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

A judge in Richmond heard arguments Monday in a lawsuit that could determine the fate of the Robert E Lee statue on Monument Avenue.

Mallory Noe-Payne was at the courthouse Monday and reports the judge expects to issue a ruling in the coming days. 

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After Lengthy Special Session, Adjusted State Budget Still Faces Delays

The much awaited budget proposal was adopted by the General Assembly late Friday.

As Cat Modlin-Jackson reports, Virginians reeling from the pandemic are waiting on financial aid tied up in the plan.

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Va. News: Outlawing Outhouses and Reopening Public Libraries

A Virginia county is being asked to exempt its Amish community from rules prohibiting outhouses. And extended closures during the pandemic are putting pressure on public libraries.

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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While Virginia Unemployment Begins to Fall, It Remains High in the Asian American Community

Although some sectors of the economy are making a comeback from the crisis created by the pandemic, many communities in Virginia are still struggling.

Michael Pope reports.

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General Assembly Sends Civilian Review Legislation to Governor

Members of the General Assembly are wrapping up their special session.

And, as Michael Pope reports, one bill they’re sending to the governor could create new oversight of law enforcement. 

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After Two Months, Legislators Ready to Advance Budget Bill

Almost two months into a special session that was initially expected to last two weeks, negotiators in the General Assembly have come to an agreement over the details of the state budget.

Now it’s up to both chambers and the Governor to make the bill a law.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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What We’re Buying: From Sourdough Effect to Frozen Pizza Effect

New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows consumers in Northern Virginia are looking for comfort food.

Michael Pope reports.

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Thousands Fail to Enroll in VA Public Schools

A recent survey of schools in Virginia yielded some surprising and worrisome news – enrollments are down, and that could mean a reduction in state funding.

Sandy Hausman has more on where students have gone and what that might mean for public schools.

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Judge Extends Virginia’s Voter Registration Deadline

A federal judge today/Wednesday extended the deadline for Virginians to register to vote.

The last day of registration was supposed to be Tuesday, but the state website citizens would use to register was taken offline when a construction crew severed a fiber optic cable.

Jahd Khalil has more.

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Democrats Aim to Hold on to Competitive 7th District Seat, Republicans Want it Back

Virginia’s 7th District stretches from Culpeper all the way south to Blackstone, encompassing the suburbs west of Richmond.

The mix of rural and suburban voters makes for a competitive race between Republican Nick Freitas and incumbent Abigail Spanberger.

Mallory Noe-Payne spoke with the Democrat about her policy positions and has this report. 

Nick Freitas also recently spoke to Mallory Noe-Payne about the issues in the race.

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Warner, Gade Meet for Final Debate

U.S. Senator Mark Warner and his Republican opponent Daniel Gade squared off in their third and final debate Tuesday night.

Michael Pope reports.

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McEachin, Benjamin Debate in 4th District Race

Virginia’s 4th Congressional District stretches from Richmond south and east to Chesapeake.

Incumbent Congressman Donald McEachin squared off Tuesday night with challenger Leon Benjamin.

Mallory Noe-Payne has this round-up of their debate. 

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Voter Registration Portal Working Again, But No Extension of Deadline Yet

The Department of Elections’ portal to register to vote was offline for much of Tuesday after a fiber optic cable was cut during construction.

It happened on the last day of voter registration, prompting calls to extend the registration period.

Jahd Khalil has more.

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Va. News: Signs, Signs and More Signs

Political signs have always been targets for thieves and vandals but in at least one city the problem seems to be worse than ever… and when a Richmond area couple wanted to show support for Black Lives Matter protesters they went big with a sign of their own.

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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In a Rural Community, Rumors Fill the Void of Coronavirus Information

Credit: CDC

During the last days of September, rural communities in the Middle Peninsula and the Northern Neck had a surge in coronavirus cases.

Because of privacy rules, the local department of health is not allowed to give out any details of where surges occurred.

As Pamela D’Angelo reports, that’s when rumors began to spread.

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During Debate, Senate Candidates Own Up to Mistakes

Candidates for the United States Senate are not perfect.

In fact, as Michael Pope reports, some of them even admit when they’ve been wrong.

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Va. News: School Bus Space and Long Overdue Recognition

Maintaining social distancing on school buses is complicating things for localities looking to bring students back to the classroom. And a high school baseball team is finally being recognized for a championship it won half a century ago.

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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COVID-19 Outbreak at Farmville ICE Facility Officially Over

(Credit: U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

An immigrant detention facility in Farmville is COVID-19 free, for now.

That’s according to officials with the Virginia Department of Health.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports. 

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Budget Revisions Could Address Immigrant Medicaid Rule

The state Senate approved its version of a budget today/Friday, leaving lawmakers in the General Assembly to reconcile their proposals.

As Cat Modlin-Jackson reports, one difference between the upper-chamber and the House comes down to a rule often cited as a barrier to healthcare for immigrants.

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Effort to Block Funding for Sex Ed Texting Program Fails

Lawmakers are in Richmond trying to deal with the health emergency created by the pandemic and the economic emergency caused by the shutdown while also addressing systemic racism and police reform.

But, as Michael Pope reports, it was a debate over sex-ed that occupied much of the Senate’s attention Thursday.

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