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Goodlatte Reflects on 26 Years in Congress

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Rep. Bob Goodlatte

In January Virginia will lose Congressman Bob Goodlatte – who as Judiciary Committee Chair has been the most powerful member of the Commonwealth’s delegation in Washington.

Correspondent Matt Laslo reports from the Capitol that the Republican will be missed by many.

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Poll Shows Support for I-81 Improvements, According to Industry Group

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(Credit: Jeff Bossert)

The Virginia Department of Transportation has a draft plan for improvements to Interstate 81, the vital highway that runs along the western side of the state.

Now a construction industry group says it’s time for legislators to hit the gas.

David Seidel explains.

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Va. News: Studying Ferry Service out of Prince William County, Digitizing Public Records in Suffolk

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One of the last cities in Virginia to fully digitize public records is finally taking the plunge. And people in Virginia’s I-95 corridor north of Fredericksburg may soon have a faster way to get into DC.

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 Representatives Leery of Possible Government Shutdown

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(Credit Rog Cogswell via flickr.com / CC)

Virginia lawmakers are monitoring the potential of a partial government shutdown.

They know from past shutdowns that the Commonwealth’s economy gets hit by them, as Matt Laslo reports.

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Down on the Farm in Petersburg

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  Young urban farmers Saajida Chohan and Paul Meyer with their Virginia State University professor Leonard Githinji.
(Credit: Sandy Hausman)

The city of Petersburg was once a prosperous place where railroads crossed and tobacco money changed hands. Today it’s economically depressed.

But a program pioneered by Virginia State University could help to revive the city in a surprising way.

David Seidel has that story.

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From Springsteen to Smashing Pumpkins and Beyond: Richmond Underground Music Spot is Closing

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Local sludge metal band Windhand performs at one of Strange Matter’s final shows.  (Credit: Brad Kutner)

For nearly 50 years alternative touring and local musicians have found an audience at Richmond’s 929 West Grace Street, just a stone’s throw from VCU’s Monroe Park Campus.

Now, the latest iteration of the space, Strange Matter, is closing its doors after nearly a decade.

Brad Kutner has more from Richmond.

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Jury Recommends Life Sentence for Charlottesville Car Attack

Cville Courthouse Monday

Barricades line the sidewalk outside the Charlottesville courthouse on the first day of James Fields’ trial. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

A jury says James Fields should spend the rest of his life in prison for the car attack that killed a woman and injured dozens in Charlottesville.

David Seidel has reaction to the sentence.

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Va. News: Small Town Strips Mayor of Powers, Outsourcing School Custodial Duties

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A small Virginia town may soon be involved in a court fight over its state-issued charter. And one school division’s plan to save money has brought mixed results.

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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Caviar Comeback: Sturgeon in the James

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  Giant sturgeon have returned to the James River, but will their offspring survive?
(Credit VCU Rice Rivers Center)

Since colonial times, American fishermen have treasured the Atlantic sturgeon – a source of meat, oil and caviar they could export to Europe.

Many of these fish would leave the ocean each spring or fall to spawn in the James, Delaware and Hudson Rivers, but as demand for their salt-cured eggs grew, the population of sturgeon fell until – in 1974 – Virginia became the first state to ban catching them.

Now, Sandy Hausman reports, this source of caviar is making a comeback and scientists are hoping to help.

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Herring Hears Tales of Hate Crimes, Proposes Legislative Action

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Attorney General Mark Herring (Credit: Edward Kimmel via flickr.com / CC)

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is currently on a listening tour across Virginia, hearing stories about hate crimes and white supremacy.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Va. News: Hemp Processed into Products – and Jobs, Drug Testing in Page County Schools

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Virginia’s first hemp processing plant is on track to open in 2019…and Page County is about to start random drug testing for high school athletes and drivers.

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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Photographer, Victims Describe Terrifying Scene of Charlottesville Car Attack

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flickr.com / CC

Three victims of the deadly crash following a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville testified Friday, along with an award-winning photographer who took pictures of the event.

Sandy Hausman is covering the trial of the man accused of deliberately driving his car into a crowd.

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New Virginia Reps Get Crash Course in Congress

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(Credit Rog Cogswell via flickr.com / CC)

Virginia just sent five new lawmakers to Washington who have spent the past few weeks going through freshmen orientation.

Correspondent Matt Laslo has this snapshot of their time at the Capitol.

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Witnesses in Fields Trial Recount Deadly Crash

Cville Courthouse Monday

Barricades line the sidewalk outside the Charlottesville City courthouse. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

A young man hit by a car after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville gave dramatic testimony Thursday, and the defense hinted at its strategy in opening arguments.

Sandy Hausman was in court and filed this report.

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Melania Trump to Liberty University Students: Remove the Stigma of Opioid Addiction

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First Lady Melania Trump as seen on a video screen in Liberty University’s Vines Center
(Credit: David Seidel)

First Lady Melania Trump Wednesday stressed the need to remove the stigma from opioid addiction.

David Seidel reports she also opened up about what she tells her own son about the danger.

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Turning Pig Poop into Natural Gas

Align RNG

Align Renewable Natural Gas

Hog farmers in Virginia could soon be making money on an overlooked by-product  — methane gas.

Mallory Noe-Payne has details on a new venture between Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods.

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Man Charged in White Nationalist Rally to Argue Self-defense

Cville Courthouse Monday

Barricades line the sidewalk outside the Charlottesville City courthouse Monday. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

Jury selection began in Charlottesville Monday for the trial of James Fields, Junior.

He’s accused of murdering Heather Heyer, and injuring several others, when he drove a car into a crowd during the Unite the Right Rally.

Mallory Noe-Payne has been in court and has this report.

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Va. News: Rappahannock Oral History Vindicated, Pardoned Turkeys at Virginia Tech

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New research is vindicating oral histories passed down by Virginia’s Rappahanock Tribe. And a pair of turkeys recently pardoned at the White House will enjoy their retirement  at Virginia Tech.

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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Fighting Ice with Ice: VT Engineers Invent Environmentally Friendly Frost Preventing Technology

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Deicing airplanes using antifreeze chemicals is a common practice during winter months. Virginia Tech’s new anti-frosting technology has the potential for use in aerospace applications, including airplane wing manufacturing

We’ve all heard the saying “fight fire with fire.” 

Well, scientists at Virginia Tech have a new twist on that idea.  They’ve come up with a way to “fight ice with ice.”

As Robbie Harris reports, it could revolutionize the way we de-ice everything from airplanes to windshields without harming the environment.

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On Immigration Where Congress Fails, States Step In

Bipartisan Policy Center

As gridlock in Congress prevents meaningful action on immigration, state lawmakers have begun to fill in the gap.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, Virginia’s legislature is one of the busiest — taking a lead in state-based immigration legislation.

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“It’ll Be 40 to 60 Years” A History of the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia

ERA YEs

Virginia is on the verge of history. The commonwealth could be the 38th, and final state, to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

The amendment to the U.S. constitution guarantees rights based on gender.

Momentum around the cause has surged, giving activists hope this could be the year.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the fight began decades ago.

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VCU to Study Opioid Withdrawal Treatment

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Doctors at Virginia Commonwealth University are beginning a study that could save lives by changing the way people with opioid addiction are treated.

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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New Virginia Democrats Deciding on House Speaker

 

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Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Credit: Julio Obscua via flickr.com/CC)

The Commonwealth’s newly elected Democrats who voters just sent to Washington will now be pivotal in writing Nancy Pelosi’s future.

Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

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With New Research Ship, VIMS Steps Up the Science

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Three-year-old Trent digs into the sand at Yorktown waterfront. Behind him visitors tour VIMS new research vessel Virginia. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science is stepping up the science behind managing state fisheries, as well as research on how the planet is changing with a newly built 93-foot, state-of-the-art research vessel, the R/V Virginia.

Pamela D’Angelo went aboard to take a look.

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Va. News: Eastern Shore economy benefits from launches, Driverless Shuttles in Albermarle County

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Going to the beach is generally seen as a summer tradition but hotels and restaurants on Virginia’s Chincoteague Island are doing excellent year-round business thanks to rocket science. And a new shuttle service is coming to Albemarle County but you won’t have to tip the driver.

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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Can Tangier Island Survive?

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(Credit: Sandy Hausman)

As hurricane season draws to a close, Virginians who live on the coast may be feeling relief, but for residents of Tangier Island the threat of being overwhelmed by wind and waves remains.

They could become the first climate change refugees in this country.

This fall, the state promised to spend 3-million-dollars on a sea wall to protect Tangier’s harbor, but locals want a wall to surround their shrinking island as Sandy Hausman reports.

Note: There are three parts to this report below.

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Could Releasing More Prisoners Help Lower Costs?

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Virginia is spending a growing amount on healthcare for inmates. That’s according to a report presented to lawmakers Tuesday.

To help lower those costs, Virginia’s legislative watchdog agency recommends the state make it easier to release sick and elderly inmates.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Equal Rights Amendment Bus Tour Kicks Off

ERA YEs

Activists are pushing for Virginia’s lawmakers to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment this year, potentially changing the United States Constitution.

To help raise awareness, a group is driving around the state. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

 

 

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Va. News: Cell Phone Snooping, Protests at the UDC

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Charlottesville police have a new tool. And the United Daughters of the Confederacy canceled a planned ceremony in Richmond when protesters gathered.

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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How Tuesday’s Senate Election Could Determine Next November’s Battlegrounds

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The 2018 election is now in the books.

But get ready for the next election cycle because the primary is only about seven months away.

Michael Pope has this preview.

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Spanberger Wins a Nail-biter

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In Virginia’s 7th Congressional District Democrat Abigail Spanberger has declared victory.

After hours of nail-biting vote counting, the Associated Press called the race just past midnight.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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“We’re not going back,” says Kaine on election night

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Sen. Tim Kaine

Senator Tim Kaine cruised to victory on election night, scoring one of the first victories of the evening.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Turnout Reported as Heavy Across Virginia

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Turnout is up all over Virginia, in some places it’s on track with presidential election years.

Michael Pope reports from a voting precinct in Alexandria.

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At the Intersection of Civic Duty and Public Transportation

Archie Jones

  Archie Jones voted for the first time ever Tuesday.
(Credit Mallory Noe-Payne)

Turnout across Virginia is reported to be heavier than an average mid-term election.

In Richmond and other cities, to help get people to the polls bus rides are free.

Mallory Noe-Payne hopped on board and filed this report.

 

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Va. News: Fairfax County Floodplain Development, Funeral Directors Seeking Office

VPAPnew

Another Virginia community is confronting the question of whether to allow development in a flood plain…  And funeral directors seem to be emerging as the newest political class in Hampton Roads.

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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Northam Signs Climate Change Executive Order

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Gov. Ralph Northam signs the executive order. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

During the past 20 years, Virginia has experienced a 250 percent increase in federally declared disasters.

Citing those statistics and damage across the state from recent hurricanes, Governor Ralph Northam on Friday, signed an executive order to protect state-owned assets and the economy by reducing the impacts of climate change such as tidal and storm surge flooding in coastal Virginia.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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U. S. Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Virginia’s Uranium Mining Ban

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(Credit: dbking via flick.com / CC)

The owners of a huge deposit of uranium in Pittsylvania County want to mine it. But a long-standing Virginia ban on the process is stopping them.

On November 5th, they’ll ask the United States Supreme Court to decide if that ban is constitutional.

Michael Pope has a preview.

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Virginia Has One Congresswoman, That Could Change Come Tuesday

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Rep. Barbara Comstock

Of Virginia’s 11 Congressional representatives, only one is female — Republican Barbara Comstock of Northern Virginia. But this Election Day, that could change.

After a wave of women were elected to the statehouse last year, there’s been a push this year to do the same in Congress.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Constitutional Amendment Would Aid Disabled Vets and the Families of Those Killed in Combat

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  Under a proposed constitutional amendment, Virginia’s disabled veterans and spouses of those killed in combat could retain their property tax break after moving to new homes.
(Credit U.S. Department of Defense)

In addition to choosing a U.S. Senator and a member of Congress on November 6, Virginia voters will decide on two proposed constitutional amendments.

One of those seems like a no-brainer, but as Sandy Hausman reports, it’s complicated.

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Help Adapting to Sea Level Rise or Tax Break for the Wealthy?

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When voters head to the polls November 6, they’ll be confronted with a constitutional amendment that would authorize tax breaks to people who own waterfront property.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Constituent Communication or Incumbent Protection Device?

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(Credit: Rog Cogswell/CC via flickr.com)

Government watchdog groups say some lawmakers are using taxpayer dollars to boost their own reelection campaigns.

But, as Matt Laslo reports from the Capitol, many Virginia lawmakers say they’re merely communicating with their constituents back home.

 

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Va. News: Patrick County hurting after startup fails, zoning changes in Arlington County

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Money borrowed and spent for an industry that never came has put Patrick County in a deep financial hole.

And a zoning change in Arlington County may accomplish the rare feat of making some housing  more affordable.

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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A New Way to Track Birds in Migration

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American oystercatchers thrive on a barrier island off Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
(Credit: The Nature Conservancy)

The fall migration for many birds is well underway, and scientists are excited about a new method for tracking them – a technology that provides detailed information without disturbing our feathered friends.

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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Virginia Does Not Fare Well in SWAMP Index

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Credit: Coalition for Integrity

A new assessment of the potential for corruption in state government is out.  And only eight states rank lower than Virginia.

Michael Pope explains the SWAMP Index.

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Early Voter Turnout is Surging Across Virginia

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Election Day is still a few weeks away, but more than 95,000 voters have already cast their ballots.

Michael Pope has this look at early voting.

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Va. News: Portrait Prompts Change of Venue Request, Convicted City Council candidate

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Virginia law seems to have no clear answers about how to handle the case of a Portsmouth city councilman. And lawyers for a man accused of murder want his trial moved out of a courtroom where a portrait of Robert E. Lee is prominently displayed.

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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Giving Schools the Tools They Need to Support Transgender Kids

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  Ted Lewis, Executive Director of Side by Side, speaks at a panel for the Virginia Education Association. He’s joined by Zephyr Acosta-Lewis and Mary Jane Frances, two former participants in Side by Side’s youth programming.
(Credit of Side by Side)

According to national studies, lesbian, gay and bisexual kids are three to five times more likely to attempt suicide. And the picture is even more dire for transgender youth — as many as half will attempt suicide before their twentieth birthday.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports one organization in Virginia is trying to keep kids alive, by providing free training to schools across the state.

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Study Shows Expanding News Deserts in Virginia

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  Credit Jeff Eaton/Ink Stained Wretches via CC/flickr.com

The last decade has seen a dramatic reduction in local newspapers across Virginia, a decline that’s documented in a new report outlining news deserts.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Proposed Change to “Public Charge” Rule Could Affect Thousands in Virginia

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The Trump administration is considering a change to immigration policy that could have a significant impact here in Virginia.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Va. News: River Cleanup and Missing Census Addresses

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A Tidewater river once given up for dead now has a thriving ecosystem. And UVA researchers have found thousands of Virginia residents that the 2020 census might have overlooked.

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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