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Posted in Virginia's News on June 14, 2016
Voters in Virginia are heading to the polls today — in some cases picking their Republican and Democratic nominees for Congress in the Fall. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports this is the first election for voters in a NEW congressional district.
Posted in Virginia's News on June 9, 2016
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s controversial executive order restoring rights to nonviolent felons may be having some unintended consequences in the court system. Michael Pope has the story.
The General Assembly is considering a new law that would prevent the public from learning the names of police officers. And open government advocates are criticizing cities that put their council meetings on the internet but exclude some citizen comments. Fred Echols reports.
Posted in Uncategorized on February 24, 2016
A new study confirms that the number one cause of traffic accidents is distracted drivers. But as Robbie Harris reports, it’s not only texting behind the wheel that’s to blame.
Lawmakers in Richmond this legislative session are hoping to minimize the risk of gun violence in Virginia’s public schools. Mallory Noe-Payne reports on those efforts.
Business Magnate and Inventor Elon Musk is a man known for his work on transportation of the future, be it space travel or electric vehicles. His latest quest is something called a “Hyperloop” a new kind of super-fast transportation that’s still in the design stage. At a competition of prototypes this past weekend, Virginia Tech’s entry showed well. Wes Williams has the story.
The General Assembly is considering loosening restrictions on the sale of wild animal parts in Virginia. And, a plan to build a wind farm in Botetourt County has upset some people in neighboring Rockbridge County. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org. Fred Echols reports.
A legal battle that began in a Gloucester, Virginia high school will be heard Wednesday in Richmond by a federal appeals court.In question: whether a local school board can prohibit a transgender student from using the restroom of their choice. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the answer could guide school systems nationwide.
Virginia’s schools don’t have enough qualified teachers for career and technical classes…so lawmakers in Richmond are considering a bill that would ease requirements on those jobs. Under proposed legislation, schools could hire part-time professionals who know the subject to teach, but don’t have a teaching license.
Mallory Noe-Payne has the details.
Plans for three new natural gas pipelines in Virginia have been the source of contention between environmentalists and energy companies.
That debate landed in Richmond Monday, as environmental groups pushed for the repeal of a law that makes it easier for energy companies to survey private land. Mallory Noe-Payne has the details.
Virginia lawmakers are laying down their legislative priorities for the new year, but Republicans doubt they can get much done with a Democrat in the White House. Matt Laslo reports from the capitol.
Posted in Virginia's News on January 20, 2016
For seventeen years in a row, Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control board has had record-breaking sales and profits, with some revenue coming from fines it imposes on restaurants that serve too much liquor and too little food. In a bid to keep Virginia free of bars, the state insists establishments that serve alcohol get at least 45% of their revenue from the sale of food. Now, there’s a move to change the rule, allowing restaurants to make as little as 25% of their money from meals. Sandy Hausman explains why lawmakers in Richmond are reviewing the rule.
Posted in VaNews from VPAP on January 20, 2016
After a near miss in 2006, Virginia may soon have an official state reptile. And a bill now in the General Assembly would give local school districts a new way to raise revenue. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org.
While Virginia’s legislature got back to work this week, the state’s executive branch continues to try to tackle gun violence on its own.
In a first of its kind meeting, Attorneys General from Virginia, Maryland and D.C. met in Washington today to discuss how the regions can work together to reduce gun-related crime and deaths. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Amid much pomp and circumstance, day one of the Virginia General Assembly kicked off today in Richmond. Mallory Noe-Payne reports on the pageantry.
Virginia’s legislature will begin its short session on Wednesday – hoping to consider about two thousand bills. Sandy Hausman spoke with long-time legislators and newcomers who predict plenty of fireworks before the General Assembly adjourns in about 45 days.
A new strategy for killing bedbugs has gotten the attention of the Richmond Fire Department. And, the Town of Amherst has a gun for sale. But if you’re interested, you should know it won’t be cheap. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org.
Tucked into Governor McAuliffe’s 2016 budget is $268,000 to build a badly-needed jetty on Tangier Island out in the Chesapeake Bay. The project took three years for the Army Corps of Engineers to study and will take another two years before it will be built. Islanders say they need it now — and that more needs to be done to save the island. Pamela D’Angelo reports from Tangier.
Since the recession state funding for higher education across the country has plummeted, including here in Virginia, where it remains a quarter below what it was before the recession. Governor McAuliffe revealed details today about how he’d like to fund higher education in the state for the next two years. Mallory Noe-Payne reports from Richmond.
It’s a budget year in Virginia — meaning during this year’s legislative session the Governor and General Assembly will work to craft how the state spends its money for the next two years. Governor Terry McAuliffe won’t reveal his proposed budget until next week, but Wednesday in Richmond he did announce a plan to issue two-and-a-half billion dollars in bonds. Money from those bond sales will largely go to the state’s colleges. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Politicians in Richmond are already gearing up for 2017 elections — Delegate Rob Bell announced Thursday afternoon that he’s running for Virginia Attorney General. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Although recent international terrorist attacks have shocked the world, they’ve had little impact on the day-to-day lives of most Virginians. But for one private school outside of Richmond, incidents of global terrorism have hit close to home. Mallory Noe-Paye reports.
Yesterday, we shared with you the story of Tysons Corner – a fast-growing suburb in Northern Virginia, grappling with traffic, noise and sidewalks that don’t always connect. Ironically, it’s evolving next to one of the nation’s first planned communities – a place designed to avoid those very problems and to offer instant community. Reston is the subject of a new documentary which had its debut at the Virginia Film Festival. Sandy Hausman reports on why Reston was once a revolutionary place, and why it’s now a model for other suburbs.
With more than thirty thousand people in prison, Virginia’s Department of Corrections is the most expensive agency in the state. To cut costs and assure public safety, officials need ways to assure that inmates don’t go back to a life of crime when they are released. At Virginia Commonwealth University, one professor is promoting a novel idea – helping inmates to write their way out. Sandy Hausman has that story.
Richmond is making headlines, placing in a top spot on “Travel and Leisure Magazine’s” annual “Best Places to Travel List.” Among Caribbean beaches and European canals, Virginia’s capitol finds itself in good company — the magazine picked out 50 cities from around the world, and Richmond placed 3rd. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Virginia Republicans are trying to derail the global climate change talks in Paris. Matt Laslo reports on the battle raging in Washington that will be felt across Virginia.
Heroin drug use is up in the state of Virginia. In fact, more Virginians died of overdose from heroin and prescription drugs than car crashes in 2014. The Attorney General’s Office is hoping a new film premiering today can help. Mallory Noe Payne reports.
Tysons Corner is a model for what urban planners call an Edge City – located outside Washington, D.C., it’s the commercial center for Fairfax County, with two major shopping malls and countless corporate headquarters. This year, the Metro arrived there, sparking new residential development and the prospect of much more pedestrian traffic – people walking to and from the train. That prompted a team from the University of Virginia to launch a walking study of the place – hoping to document just how hard it is to get around Tysons on foot or bicycle, and to explore possible solutions. Sandy Hausman tagged along and filed this report.
Virginia is touting itself as the East Coast oyster capitol, last year harvesting more than half-a-million wild and farmed oysters valued at nearly $34 million. The growing industry is making it more tempting to poachers. Pamela D’Angleo reports from the Rappahannock River.
As Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring kicks off a study aimed at encouraging more minorities to enter law enforcement in the Commonwealth one of the Southside Virginia cities set to take part is dealing with severe financial problems that could make recruiting even more difficult. Fred Echols reports.
Virginia’s congressional delegation is wrestling with how the federal government can help states combat the heroin epidemic spreading across the east coast. Matt Laslo reports from the Capitol.
Known for years as the Church of the Confederacy, St Paul’s Episcopal Church is just across the street from Capitol Square in Richmond. But the church has announced steps this week to remove certain images of the Confederate Flag from inside the sanctuary. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, it’s part of an effort at racial reconciliation.
Two advocacy groups are asking Virginia to streamline the process for changing gender identification on birth certificates…and Lynchburg saw a record number of votes for write-in candidates on Election Day. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VA News link on VPAP.org. More from Fred Echols.
As Virginia considers allowing drilling for oil off its coast, scientists at the University of Mary Washington are doing basic research that could prove valuable in the event of a spill. Sandy Hausman reports on what they hope to learn after two weeks of trolling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Virginia Attorney General’s Office is developing a plan to increase diversity in police departments around the state beginning with a pilot program in Danville and Martinsville. Fred Echols reports.
It looks like a strong Holiday buying season is in the forecast for Virginia. That’s according to the latest Virginia Consumer Sentiment report from the Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion Research. Kelsea Pieters reports.
Posted in Virginia's News on November 17, 2015
About 2,000 college students in Virginia won’t have to pay back some of their student loans, thanks to a state settlement with the Education Management Corporation. That company owns a handful of for-profit colleges in Virginia that have been under investigation for lying to students about job placement rates and graduates’ salaries. Mallory Noe-Payne filed this report.
Posted in Virginia's News on November 16, 2015
From neglect to the rise of Netflix to general lack of funds, several of the opulent, old movie palaces across the Commonwealth have closed or have been repurposed altogether. But Kelsea Pieters looks at two of Virginia’s historic theaters that have survived – and thrive from support of those in their communities.
Posted in Virginia's News on October 28, 2015
Voters across Virginia will be heading to the polls next week. At stake? Each of the state’s 140 lawmakers that make up the General Assembly. You may not have heard much about it though, because many seats are uncontested and not generating much attention. But some state senate races are the exception. Who wins these races could determine the shape of Virginia politics for the next two years.
Fones Cliffs along the Rappahannock River in Richmond County is a favorite place for bald eagles to gather, to sleep, and to watch for their next meal in the river and marshes below. But a plan for a commercial development is pitting conservationists against entrepreneurs.
Virginia lawmakers say one topic that will again be discussed during the upcoming General Assembly session is improving healthcare in the Commonwealth. But that goal remains difficult when a large portion of the bright students who attend the state’s six medical schools are forced to move elsewhere due to a lack of residency slots. One critical point of discussion will be how to open up more slots AND pay for them.
Posted in Virginia's News on October 6, 2015
In one month, Virginians will head to the polls to elect all 140 members of the House of Delegates and state Senate. But according to a recent Christopher Newport University survey, only 34 percent of voters say they have followed news about the General Assembly candidates—even though partisan control of the closely divided Senate is at stake. Although some of the seats are fiercely contested, a lack of competition throughout the state may be part of the problem.
Posted in Virginia's News on October 1, 2015
Virginia has begun distributing the funds from a $17.5 million federal grant to expand and enhance the Commonwealth’s early childhood education efforts. Governor McAuliffe toured one of the schools that received money for its program and explained that the funds will be awarded to 11 high-need school divisions.
Posted in Virginia's News on September 30, 2015
Virginia’s governor, attorney general, and public safety secretary marked the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month by focusing on the number of homicides committed with guns. As Tommie McNeil reports, their message is that many of the Commonwealth’s domestic violence deaths last year—and many other fatalities—could have been prevented with several key gun control laws.
Posted in Virginia Conversations on September 25, 2015
Richmond is in the spotlight this week, hosting the world championships for road biking. As out of towners flock to the city, and spectators stroll the streets — community developers have seized the unique opportunity to do something new with old spaces.
Posted in Virginia's News on September 23, 2015
Anyone working or living around Richmond can attest to the sizable impact of the UCI World Cycling Championships. But, beyond the road closures and massive crowds, some believe the race’s presence could leave a lasting impression on the region.
Posted in Virginia's News on September 21, 2015
Children subjected to repeated trauma are significantly more likely to have high levels of chronic disease. That’s according to research findings presented to the Joint Commission on Health Care yesterday, which also looked at the effects of trauma on the young brain. The findings could result in a paradigm shift toward early diagnosis and treatment.
Posted in Virginia's News on September 16, 2015
For the most part, the public knows the positions of each side in the battle over Medicaid expansion in Virginia—but what about the stakeholder organizations that provide services? They say they’re caught in the middle and would like to see some legislative movement before key services—and even hospitals themselves—become casualties in the battle over how to fund healthcare.
Although two federal cases have been on the front burner, the nonprofit organization, OneVirginia2021, has filed a lawsuit in STATE court that challenges 11 House of Delegates and state Senate districts as unconstitutionally gerrymandered. Since the boundaries were drawn by the Democrat-led Senate and the GOP-dominated House, the group says both parties need to go back to the drawing board.
Some Virginia localities already use police body cameras at their own discretion. But as more consider utilizing the tool, the state’s Secure Commonwealth Panel is drafting recommendations to establish specific guidelines. However, the state ACLU has a little bit of a problem with how they’re going about it.