Nick Gilmore

Everything you possibly could want to know about all things weather

Homepage: http://theweatherzone.wordpress.com

New report suggests Virginia schools are falling behind

Governor ⁦Glenn Youngkin says Virginia’s education system suffers from lowered expectations and a lack of transparency. “That all ends today,” he says. (Credit: Michael Pope)

A new report on the state of Virginia schools shows that gaps are widening and scores are dropping. Michael Pope reports.

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Republicans to choose nominees by convention in three Congressional districts Saturday

Credit: gop.com

Republicans in several parts of Virginia will be choosing their congressional candidates this weekend. Michael Pope has this preview.

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The Virginia debate over security protection for Supreme Court justices

Credit: NPR

Virginia’s governor is clashing with leaders in Fairfax County about security precautions at the home of several Supreme Court justices. Michael Pope reports.

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Federal judge gives preliminary settlement approval for online predatory lending victims

Credit: MBandman / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/mbandman/23033039562

The World Wide Web can be a fraught place, especially for people looking for quick cash. As Michael Pope reports, all kinds of companies are trying to skirt Virginia’s law against predatory lending.

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Advocates warn an eviction crisis is looming

Before the pandemic, Virginia had one of the highest rates for evictions in the country. Now, as Michael Pope reports, some are concerned about a coming crisis.

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Student shares the history of free and enslaved Black men at VMI

VMI’s valedictorian did extensive research on the contribution of African Americans to the military institute.

While African Americans fought in every American war from the revolution on, aspiring Black soldiers could not study at the Virginia Military Institute until 1968.  Still one student – this year’s valedictorian — says they made an important contribution to the school.  Sandy Hausman talked with him and filed this report.

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Higher car prices have Virginia localities weighing tax options

Local governments across Virginia are trying to figure out how to handle the rising value of used cars. As Michael Pope reports, what they decide will influence how much tax you pay.

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A historical look: abortion access in Virginia

Credit: Wellness GM / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/130100316@N04/15728773073/

In 1973, the landmark ruling in Roe versus Wade overturned existing laws that restricted abortions to certain kinds of cases. But as Michael Pope reports, the origin of Virginia’s law prohibiting abortion goes back much further.

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Thanks to Virginia’s long early voting period, polls are already open in some primaries

Credit: NPR

Virginia’s congressional primary is not until June. But as Michael Pope reports, the polls are already open.

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Va. News: Tech competition prize, 540 area code calls

Credit: VPAP

If your area code is 540 get ready to do some additional tapping on the keypad when you make a phone call. And some creative Virginia high school students went to New York and came back with a six-figure cash prize from a national tech 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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Virginia school boards: striking a balance between transparency and order

School boards across Virginia are dealing with sometimes hostile parents and potentially dangerous situations. But as Michael Pope reports, they also have to manage the legal requirements for open meetings.

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Should state regulators consider the societal cost?

Some lawmakers are starting to rethink the way regulators approach environmental issues. Michael Pope reports.

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Will Roe leak lead to action at the ballot box?

Credit: NPR

The politics of abortion are becoming increasingly intense. But as Michael Pope reports, they don’t always play out as expected.

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Virginia reactions to potential SCOTUS abortion ruling roll in

As the United States Supreme Court appears ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, advocates on both sides of the issue are preparing for how to handle state law on abortion. Michael Pope reports.

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One state lawmaker hopes to create his own juvenile justice work group after governor’s veto

Advocates for reforming juvenile justice are regrouping after a veto from the governor. Michael Pope explains why.

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What’s next for the Democratic caucus in the House of Delegates?

Democrats in Virginia’s House of Delegates are currently without a leader, leaving open a question about how the divided caucus will forge a path forward. Michael Pope reports.

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What to expect from this year’s reconvene session

Lawmakers will be returning to Richmond Wednesday to finish up some unfinished business. Michael Pope has this preview.

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Va. News: Helping students recovering from substance abuse, grading police officers

Credit: VPAP

A new high school in Chesterfield County is specifically designed to support students recovering from substance abuse. And people in Warrenton, Virginia now have the opportunity to grade local police officers.

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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AG Miyares wants more transparency about decisions to dismiss or suspend judges

Credit: Jason Miyares’ Facebook Page

Virginia’s attorney general is calling for greater transparency on the bench. Michael Pope reports.

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Tribe continues long tradition of treaty ceremony in Richmond

Credit: Jahd Khalil

For 309 years citizens of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe of Southampton County in Virginia have marked a treaty with the English Crown with a tribute. Jahd Khalil was at the executive mansion for this year’s. 

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Pope & Schapiro: Virginia’s reconvene session and what to expect

The General Assembly will be back in Richmond next week for the reconvene session – weighing amendments and vetoes from Governor Glenn Youngkin.

Michael Pope and Jeff Schapiro with the Richmond Times-Dispatch preview what to expect from the session.

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Sponsor says governor’s amendment is the exact opposite of religious expression bill’s intent

Lawmakers will be back in Richmond next week to consider several amendments from the governor. Michael Pope has this story about a controversial amendment on religious expression.

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New book sheds light on Shenandoah Park murders

Julie Williams and Lollie Winans were expert backpackers, killed in Shenandoah National Park 26 years ago. (Credit: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)

In May of 1996, two young women were murdered in Shenandoah National Park.  The crime scene was just half a mile from the popular Skyland Lodge, and the park was crowded with holiday hikers, but to this day the deaths of Lollie Winans and Julie Williams remain a mystery. 

A new book on the case points to one possible culprit and suggests our national parks are no safer today than they were 26 years ago. Sandy Hausman reports.

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New ALA report: Virginia cities have some of the cleanest air in the country

Roanoke is among the 10 cleanest air quality metro areas in the country according to the new ALA report. (Credit: Joe Ravi – Creative Commons/Wikimedia Commons: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roanoke_City_(Virginia)_from_Mill_Mountain_Star_at_Dusk.jpg)

The American Lung Association has released its annual report on air quality. And, as Nick Gilmore reports, a few Virginia cities have some of the cleanest air in the entire country. 

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AG Miyares uses new law to help an innocent Virginian

Credit: Jason Miyares’ Facebook Page

Virginia’s attorney general is using a new law to help free an innocent man from prison. Michael Pope reports.

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The debate over what to do with Virginia’s gas tax in the coming months continues

Credit: NPR

One of the hottest debates between legislators right now is whether to suspend the gas tax this summer. Jahd Khalil sat in on a meeting in Richmond Tuesday afternoon. 

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UVA study compares Pfizer and Moderna vaccines

Dr. Jeffrey Wilson and colleagues at UVA compared vaccines and concluded the effects of Moderna last longer than Pfizer. (Credit: UVA)

Scientists have learned a lot about the virus that causes COVID, and they’re getting new information about how best to prevent it. 

At the University of Virginia, one study tracked 114 people who’d gotten the Pfizer shot and an equal number who were vaccinated with the product developed by Moderna. Sandy Hausman reports on what they found.

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The sponsor of solitary confinement study is ok with governor’s amendment

Lawmakers will return to Richmond next week to consider several amendments from the governor to legislation from the General Assembly. Michael Pope has this report on one of those amendments to a bill aimed at limiting the use of solitary confinement in Virginia prisons.

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Youngkin amendment would reduce restitution for wrongfully-convicted man by $1

Bobbie Morman Jr., pictured with his mother. (Credit: UVA Innocence Project)

Lawmakers are about to consider a bill to determine the exact dollar amount to pay someone who was wrongfully convicted and spent 22 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. As Michael Pope reports, the governor wants to reduce the amount of money by one dollar.

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Va. News: Mystery Busch Gardens project, Civil War battlefield preserved for now

Credit: VPAP

Something new – and big – is in the works at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. And a significant Civil War battlefield will not become a new housing development, at least not now. 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 with the Virginia Public Access Project.

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More African American cemeteries will have access to state funding thanks to new law

Woodland Cemetery (Credit: woodlandrestorationfoundation.org)

State-mandated racial segregation ended decades ago. But as Michael Pope reports, many parts of Virginia will be segregated forever: cemeteries.

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Pope & Schapiro: Veto pen fireworks

Governor Glenn Youngkin set off political fireworks with the stroke of his veto pen earlier this week. What lies ahead for state lawmakers with the veto session on the horizon later this month?

Jeff Schapiro with the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Michael Pope take a closer look.

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Youngkin vetoes include bipartisan measures to address medical debt issues

Credit: Wellness GM / Flickr, Creative Common: flickr.com/photos/130100316@N04/15728773073/

The idea that medical debt collectors might come after people having a hard time making ends meet is concerning to a lot of Republicans and Democrats, who worked together during the General Assembly session to protect Virginians.

As Michael Pope reports, now the governor is using his veto pen on two of those bills. 

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One gubernatorial veto would’ve helped localities address issues with slumlords

Governor Glenn Youngkin has vetoed 26 bills lawmakers put on his desk this year. Michael Pope has this report on one of those vetoes for a bill aimed at cracking down on slumlords.

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What comes next for state lawmakers following Youngkin’s vetoes and amendments?

Credit: NPR

Governor Youngkin’s vetoes of 26 pieces of legislation are the most since 1998. They would’ve meant some new policies for the Commonwealth. Jahd Khalil has this report on the politics of the move. 

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Danville set to become first Virginia city with designated outdoor drinking area

Credit: danville-va.gov

With spring weather finally coming around, you may be tempted to enjoy Happy Hour outside. But unlike Bourbon Street drinking in public is not legal throughout Virginia. However, as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, that is set to change for at least one Virginia city. 

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The debate over police use of facial recognition technology isn’t over

Lawmakers are not done debating whether police should be able to use facial recognition technology. As Michael Pope reports, an amendment from the governor will keep this issue on the docket for weeks.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: could a privatized alcohol industry be on the horizon for Virginia?

Virginia is among a handful of states across the country that has direct control of alcohol sales. But now with an extension of to-go beverages, could privatization be on the horizon?

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Craig Wright have more on the state of alcohol sales in Virginia.

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A new law changes the way Virginia counts absentee ballots

Credit: Jahd Khalil

Governor Glenn Youngkin has signed a bill that will change how election results are reported. Michael Pope reports.

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The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge wants to change its visitor demographic

Refuge Manager Chris Lowie shows damage by black bears to the Jericho Pavilion at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Nearly half the communities in cities adjacent to the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge are Black. But visitors are mostly white. To change that, the refuge is partnering with regional stakeholders, Indigenous communities and the city of Suffolk. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Va. News: Rappahannock Tribe land returned, browse and drink extension

Credit: VPAP

The option to browse and drink in Virginia will continue for at least another two years. And some of the ancestral land taken from the Rappahannock Tribe centuries ago is being returned. 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 with the Virginia Public Access Project.

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Virginia’s unemployment rate is back to where it was pre-pandemic, but there’s a lingering question

Unemployment is back down to pre-pandemic levels in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia part of national uptick in attempts to ban or censor books

Nationwide, there was an unprecedented effort in the year 2021 to censor and ban books from public and school libraries and Virginia was not immune to that. That’s according to the American Library Association’s annual report, issued this week. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Youngkin rolls back Northam’s limits on single-use plastics

Gov. Glenn Youngkin signs the executive order at a recycling business in Chesterfield County. (Credit: Governor’s office livestream)

Avoiding single-use plastic bottles and bags can be hard if it’s the only option around. State agencies had tried to phase them out, but those plans seem to be over now. Jahd Khalil has this report. 

You can read Youngkin’s entire executive order here.

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Va. News: Cemetery mystery, middle school recess

Credit: VPAP

Researchers are hoping the public can help them figure out who’s buried in a cemetery at the Booker T. Washington National Monument. And the long wait for recess may soon be over for middle school students in Fairfax County.

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 with the Virginia Public Access Project.

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How to go about providing tax relief to Virginians is a major budget sticking point

Lawmakers will be returning to the Capitol Monday to finish balancing the books and finalizing a budget. But, as Michael Pope reports, serious divisions remain.

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Tax breaks are biggest difference between state budget negotiators, but there’s a gap in SNAP funding, too

Credit: RADIO IQ

State lawmakers return to Richmond on Monday. They’ll be there to start a special session focusing on the Budget. Jahd Khalil reports on another item they’ll have to address: money for an expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. 

The Virginia Poverty Law Center has a SNAP calculator that can calculate whether a person qualifies for SNAP.

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How much to spend on affordable housing is another debate state lawmakers face next week

Credit: JLARC

Lawmakers are about to return to Richmond in an effort to balance the books. But, as Michael Pope reports, they’re divided over how much money to invest in affordable housing.

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Pope & Schapiro: What to expect from the special session, Miyares’ opposition to Dominion offshore wind project

Lawmakers are returning to Richmond for a special session on the budget, as teachers voice their support for equity programs and the attorney general voices his opposition to wind power.

Richmond Times-Dispatch political columnist Jeff Schapiro joins Michael Pope to break it down.

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A gas tax holiday may not lead to savings for Virginia drivers

Lawmakers will be returning to Richmond next week for a special session. And, as Michael Pope reports, one of the things they’ll be considering is a gas tax holiday.

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