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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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New Analysis: Virginia Schools Forced to Do More With Less

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Credit: Creative Commons, Flickr

Schools across Virginia are finding themselves in a crunch.

And, as Michael Pope reports, they’re being asked to do more with less according to a new analysis.

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Libertarian Candidate Struggles to Gain Traction in Senate Race

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U.S. Senate candidate Matt Waters speaks to the Republican Club at Hayfield High School in Fairfax County. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Voters are about to choose a candidate for United States Senate.

But the ballot has a name that you might not have heard before.

Michael Pope has this story about the third-party candidate on your ballot.

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Legislation Would Force Changes at Virginia Department of Elections

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Republicans in Richmond are hoping to make Virginia’s Electoral Board less partisan.

A suite of proposed changes comes after a recent legislative report highlighted past complaints about political bias in the Department of Elections.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Va. News: School Counselors Overwhelmed, Penalties For Not Paying Car Taxes

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Local governments across Virginia have been getting tougher on people who don’t pay their car tax. And a nationwide shortage of school counselors has -not- spared Virginia.

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.

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One Year Later, Wise County Needle Exchange the Only in the State

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(Credit: ZaldyImg/CC via flickr.com)

It’s been over a year since needle exchange programs became legal for more than 50 localities in Virginia. The hope is to also get people in the door for education, counseling, and testing.

But according to a report released this week, the state has only approved two sites so far: One in Wise County and one in Richmond.

Mallory Noe-Payne has this update.

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Study: Local Immigration Enforcement Comes with Significant Price Tag

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Across Virginia, local taxpayers are paying for federal immigration enforcement.

Michael Pope takes a closer look at the numbers.

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Test of National Wireless Alert System to Go Out Wednesday Afternoon

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  Every major wireless carrier is participating in Wednesday’s presidential alert, which will happen at 2:18 p.m.
(Credit FEMA)

In recent years, you may have noticed that mobile phones are increasingly giving alerts about missing children or severe weather.

As Michael Pope reports, October 3rd will mark the first-ever national wireless alert.

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Senate Candidates Come Out Swinging in Final Debate

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Republican Corey Stewart and Democrat Tim Kaine met in Richmond Tuesday night for their final debate before Virginia voters choose who to represent them in the Senate.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Dr. Northam Takes Opioid Crisis Message to Med Students

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  Gov. Ralph Northam (left) and Ryan Hall talk to students at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Tuesday.
(Credit David Seidel)

The opioid crisis has touched every corner and demographic of Virginia.

Ralph Northam has been using his roles both as governor and as a pediatric neurologist to talk about it.

David Seidel reports.

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Red for Ed Campaign Picks up Momentum in Virginia

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(Credit: Virginia Educators United)

Education advocates have an ask for parents, community members, and teachers across the state this school year.  And that’s to wear RED for ED.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Virginia Falling Behind in Wage Gender Gap

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Women in Virginia do not make as much as their male counterparts.

In fact, they’re falling below the national average.

Michael Pope has this look at the gender gap.

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Va. News: Airbnb Helps Norfolk Evacuees, Commonwealth’s Attorney Can’t Cut Pay

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When Norfolk needed to make room for thousands evacuees ahead of Hurricane Florence a city regulation threatened to slow down the process.

And when a Commonwealth’s Attorney wanted to reduce his own salary he also found the law standing in his way.

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.

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School Population Trends are Changing

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Credit: Demographics Research Group and Va. Dept. of Education

Schools in Virginia’s urban areas are bursting at the seams, growing faster than they have the capacity to handle.

But, as Michael Pope reports, some of those students might be heading to the suburbs soon.

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Are Virginians Headed to the Suburbs Again?

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Fifty years ago, people began abandoning cities for the suburbs of Virginia.

Then cities made a comeback and became thriving cultural centers.

Now, as Michael Pope reports, the pendulum may be swinging the other way.

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Understanding Virginia’s New School Accreditation System

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The new combined pass rate will credit students who show growth but haven’t passed yet. (Credit Virginia Department of Education)

School accreditation ratings are out in Virginia. But for parents and teachers they may not look so familiar.

That’s because the state has implemented a whole new rating system, shifting the focus away from test scores. Schools will be evaluated on student growth. How often students miss school. And achievement gaps between African-Americans and their white peers.

Reporter Mallory Noe-Payne spoke with Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, James Lane. He describes the new system as moving from a hammer to a flashlight.

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Farmers Hit By Weather, Tariffs

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P. J. Haynie takes a call from one of his fields.
(Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

First came torrential rains, then record heat, then more rain.

Add the tariff battle with China and farmers are having a tough year.

Pamela D’Angelo reports Virginia’s Northern Neck is one region taking a hit.

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Senate Debate Takes On Adversarial Tone

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On Capitol Hill, senators are grappling with how to handle allegations of sexual misconduct.

But, as Michael Pope reports, it’s a drama that’s also playing out on the campaign trail.

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Virginia Is Middle Of The Pack In Business Tax Climate Ranking

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In the complicated and competitive world of business climate rankings, tax policy plays a big role.

And while Virginia is in the middle of the pack according to a new analysis of Business Tax Climate, the Commonwealth is losing ground in some areas.

Michael Pope reports.

Click here to read the full report from The Tax Foundation

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Fones Cliffs Enforcement Case Sent to Virginia’s Attorney General

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Erosion along Fones Cliffs caused by clear-cutting last year. (Credit: Chesapeake Conservancy)

In July, Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality asked the public to weigh-in on fines and actions against a New York company that violated environmental regulations on pristine cliffs above the Rappahannock River.

Now they’re asking the Attorney General’s office to weigh-in as well.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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How Workplace Stress Affects the Commute Home

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(Credit: Jon Collier/CC via flickr.com)

Navigating your commute can be stressful enough, but a new study looked at how stress from your day in the workplace affects how you drive on the way home.   

Robbie Harris reports.

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Economic Development Means Saving the Land and Water in Bath County

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For owners of the Ft. Lewis Lodge, economic development means preserving the land and water around them.(Credit: Sandy Hausman)

Here in Virginia economic development usually means building something and using up resources, but in Bath County a different approach is in play.

As Sandy Hausman reports, one family has found a way to make money by saving the land and water around them.

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Virginia Tech, Insurance Company Partner on Damage Surveys by Drone

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  Thomas Jones, a program manager with the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, launches a lightweight drone during tests with IPP partner State Farm.
(Credit Virginia Tech Photo)

Virginia Tech is about to launch a series of drones that will take a new and unprecedented role in the recovery from Hurricane Florence.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Senate Takes Action on Opioid Legislation

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Credit: Rog Cogswell/CC via flickr.com

This week the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill focused on stemming the opioid crisis that’s raging in Virginia and across the nation.

Matt Laslo has the story from the Capitol.  

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5th District Debate Highlights Differences Between Cockburn and Riggleman

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The 5th Congressional District runs from the North Carolina line to the outermost suburbs of Washington, DC.

Candidates for the competitive 5th Congressional District met in rural Madison County Thursday night for a debate.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, both candidates agree healthcare and the economy are top issues for the area.

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Gun Issues Present Sharp Contrast at Senate Forum

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  Hosts of Thursday’s Senate forum prepare to introduce the candidates.
(Credit” Liberty University video)

More than a decade ago, Virginia Tech was the scene of a mass shooting. Now the issue of gun violence remains one of the hottest issues in Virginia politics.

And, as Michael Pope reports, candidates for Senate are divided on how to handle the issue.

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President Trump Impacting Senate Race, Analyst Says

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The race for U.S. Senate in Virginia is contested. But it might not end up being all that competitive.

Michael Pope has a look at the latest poll.

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Parents of Matthew Shepard Campaign for 6th District Candidate

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  Dennis and Judy Shepard speak at a campaign fundraiser for Jennifer Lewis at the Mill Street Grill in Staunton, September 13.
(Credit Jessie Knadler)

LGBTQ advocates Judy and Dennis Shepard, whose son Matthew was fatally tortured in Wyoming for his sexual orientation twenty years ago, recently joined Sixth District Democratic Congressional candidate Jennifer Lewis at a fundraiser in Staunton.

Jessie Knadler has more.

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Possible Tornadoes Sweep Through Richmond, Killing One

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Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne

One person has been killed following a likely tornado touchdown south of Richmond Monday evening.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, much of the Richmond area was under tornado watch Monday night, as the remnants of Florence moved through the area.

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Goodlatte Gets Praise for Shepherding Bill to Expand Marijuana Research

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Rep. Bob Goodlatte/(R) 6th District

Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte is no fan of marijuana but he’s being applauded by the nation’s marijuana advocates.

Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from the Capitol.  

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Research: Preparedness Education and Messaging May Not Be Enough

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Credit: Elyaqim Mosheh Adam/flickr.com/CC

Hurricane season comes as no surprise to Virginians.  We know when it’s coming, and we know what the consequences might be.

So how good are we at preparing?

A professor at the University of Virginia analyzed records from thousands of grocery stores and reached some surprising conclusions as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Some Local Jails Won’t Move Prisoners from Hurricane Evacuation Zone

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While parts of Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Norfolk, Virginia are under mandatory evacuation orders, prisoners at jails in those cities are staying put.

That’s upset one national non-profit which is crusading to get inmates out.

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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Hurricane Predictions: Understanding the Uncertainties

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Virginia Tech Professor Robert Weiss recently completed a study on how climate change and sea level rise will supercharge future storm. (Credit: Virginia Tech)

When a hurricane is on the way, people are told to prepare for the worst.

But when it’s over, if the effects were not as bad as expected, what happens next time around?

Robbie Harris has more.

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From the Western to Eastern Shores of the Chesapeake Bay, People Ready for Florence

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Edward Bowis moves a boat to shelter.
(Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

All this week people who live along the Chesapeake Bay have been preparing for whatever Hurricane Florence may bring.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Republicans and Democrats Hope to Reverse Federal Worker Pay Freeze

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Credit Rog Cogswell, Creative Commons

About 40% of the U. S. House of Representatives has asked President Trump to rescind his plan for a pay freeze for the federal work force next year and instead give them a pay raise.

Correspondent Matt Laslo has the details from the Capitol.

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Latest Breathalyzer Tech Goes for a Test Drive in Virginia

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Governor Ralph Northam examines one of the demonstration vehicles. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

State officials announced a new partnership today/Monday, aimed at getting breathalyzer technology ready for wider commercial use in vehicles around the Commonwealth.

Mallory Noe-Payne has detail.

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Tech Giant, Local Agencies Work to Bring Broadband to Rural Virginia

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A TV whitespace tower at a Virginia school (Credit: Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation & Microsoft)

Southern Virginia’s economy has been devastated by the loss of the tobacco and textile industries that sustained it through much of its history.

Now with the help of a corporate giant, local innovators are trying to remake part of Southside in the image of the digital age.

Fred Echols reports.

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Advocates Voice Concern About Growing Number of Women in Prison

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Credit: mitchell hainfield / Flickr

Women make up 15% of Virginia’s jail and prison population, but the number of female inmates is rising rapidly.

The American Civil Liberties Union has issued a report on why that’s happening and what should be done.

Sandy Hausman has details.

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Remembering Arthur Ashe’s Path from Richmond to the U. S. Open Championship

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Collection of Lou Einwick

As the U. S. Open men’s tennis final gets underway this weekend, many will mark Arthur Ashe’s barrier-breaking victory 50 years ago this Sunday.

Jason Fuller follows Ashe’s path from his hometown of Richmond to the championship.

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Third Party Candidate Ordered off the Ballot in Competitive Virginia Race

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  Shaun Brown speaks with reporters after the ruling. She says she will appeal.
(Credit Mallory Noe-Payne)

Amidst findings of fraud, a judge in Richmond is ordering the independent candidate in a competitive Congressional race off the ballot this November.

Shaun Brown, a former Democrat running as an Independent in the 2nd District, says she will appeal the ruling.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports there’s still an ongoing criminal investigation, examining whether Republican Congressman Scott Taylor was involved.

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Sea Level Rise + Earthquakes +Tsunamis = More Coastal Flooding Ahead

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Robert Weiss and his partners created computer-simulated tsunamis at current sea level and with sea-level increases of 1.5 feet and 3 feet in the Chinese territory of Macau. (Credit Virginia Tech)

A first of its kind study finds even a small rise in sea level could lead to more coastal flooding worldwide.

A team of scientists including experts from Virginia Tech predicts a warming planet will see more ‘worst case scenarios’ more often, if nothing is done to prevent it.

Robbie Harris reports.

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Va News: Telling the US Story of Slavery, UVA History

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Next year Virginia will mark the 400th anniversaries of the beginnings of English-style legislatures and African slavery in Britain’s American colonies……and a report on slavery’s role at the University of Virginia finds grave robbing was once common at black cemeteries.

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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Special Redistricting Session Yields Few Results So Far

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Credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr

Lawmakers were in Richmond Thursday to try to fix district maps for the state legislature.

The maps have been deemed unconstitutional by a federal court.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, they managed to get little done.

 

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Declining Numbers End Some High School Football Programs

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Source: Virginia High School League

Some varsity football programs are struggling across Virginia because students aren’t showing up to play the game.

Michael Pope takes a look at the issue with high school football.

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Bipartisan Group to Propose Redistricting Constitutional Amendment

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As lawmakers in Richmond battle over district lines, a heavy-hitting bipartisan group of former lawmakers want to change the way the entire process works.

The group includes Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Ward Armstrong. Along with legal experts, they plan to write and propose a new way to redistrict.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Habeeb’s General Assembly Career Begins and Ends With Redistricting

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Del. Greg Habeeb (Credit: Friends of Greg Habeeb / Creative Commons)

Lawmakers are back in Richmond this week for a special session on redistricting.

And, for one lawmaker, it’s the last hurrah.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Stats Show Job Growth and Wage Growth Don’t Always Go Hand-In-Hand

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Virginia is adding jobs, and wages are going up.

But, as Michael Pope reports, that’s not true all over the Commonwealth.

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