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Posted in Virginia's News on August 16, 2017
As Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe prepares to leave office early next year, he can look to a record of economic development that even some Republicans applaud. But there’s one particular industry that the governor has tapped more than others. Michael Pope serves up the story.
Virginia’s largest insurer is pulling out of the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. Michael Pope has the story.
Senator Mark Warner is denouncing the violent rally in Charlottesville over the weekend. Nick Gilmore has details.
The events in Charlottesville are prompting a renewed interest in Confederate statues and memorials across Virginia, as elected leaders across Virginia hear a new round of calls to remove them. Michael Pope reports.
Officials in Richmond broke ground today on a new Civil War Museum. The facility will feature exhibit halls and a theater. And while it’s been in the works for years, this weekend’s events in Charlottesville gave the effort a renewed sense of urgency. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Rounding out a weekend of chaos, a couple hundred people took to the streets in Richmond Sunday night, protesting white supremacy and fascism. Police closed down portions of Broad Street as they marched to a monument of Robert E. Lee. A local journalist covering the march was attacked, and one protester was arrested. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
UPDATE August 15, 9:13 am: The organizer of the planned September rally tells local media he has decided to withdraw his permit request.
A new law has opened the way for Virginia ABC stores to sell the strongest alcoholic beverage ever made available in state liquor outlets. But it won’t be on the shelves at every location. And, residents of a disappearing Virginia island in the Chesapeake Bay are looking to a project in Maryland as a way to save their home. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. More now from Fred Echols.
People in Charlottesville are remembering the 32-year-old woman who died this weekend at a counter protest following a white supremacist rally. Police identified her as Heather Heyer. She was killed when an alleged white supremacist drove a car into a crowd of people. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.
Across Virginia, people gathered to remember those killed and injured in Saturday’s violence. In Blacksburg, the Coalition for Justice held a vigil against hate in solidarity with counter protesters in Charlottesville. Robbie Harris was there.
People who were hit by a speeding car after violent protests in Charlottesville continue their recovery. Ten are now in good condition at UVA Medical Center and nine have been released, but as Sandy Hausman reports, some invisible wounds may remain.
Policy wonks call it the “last mile” – the infrastructure needed to get high-speed internet down those long and sparsely populated country roads. It’s expensive, and private companies are unlikely to recoup that investment from just a couple of households. And while Virginia’s candidates for governor agree something needs to be done, they don’t quite agree over how to fund it. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.
This year’s election may end up being more important than most because the next governor will oversee a new round of political maps that will shape Virginia politics for the next decade. Michael Pope has details.
Posted in Virginia's News on August 10, 2017
Virginia’s unemployment is at its lowest level since the recession. But is that a sign of strength for the economy? Or does it indicate something else is going on? Michael Pope hit the road to find out.
As Washington turns its attention from healthcare to taxes, critics of the tax code on the right and left agree on one thing — too many tax breaks benefit wealthy people. Michael Pope has the story.
Groundwater in the Coastal Plain, East of I-95, is under stress. During the last 18 months, Virginia water officials have been negotiating cuts to groundwater withdrawals by the state’s biggest users. Now, they are looking at another large user. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
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Despite fears that Virginia’s health insurance marketplace is imploding, people who are insured through the Affordable Care Act in Virginia will actually have more choices next year. Michael Pope has details.
Political season here in Virginia never seems to die, the commonwealth is now gearing up for a fall of campaigning for Governor and the state legislature. The latest poll numbers favor Democrats. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Virginia’s major metropolitan areas are thriving, and unemployment is down across the Commonwealth; but there’s one part of Virginia that’s struggling more than others. Michael Pope is digging into the numbers.
DuPont has agreed to pay the largest environmental damage award ever in Virginia. The money will go toward restoring ecosystems damaged by a mercury discharge from a DuPont plant in Waynesboro. And, senior class rankings and valedictorians may soon become relics of the past in Virginia Beach. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. More now from Fred Echols.
Posted in Virginia's News on July 28, 2017
The U.S. House kicks off a month long recess today, which some Virginia Republicans say they don’t deserve. Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.
More than ten years ago, a small team of students and engineers from Virginia Tech won big at a national contest for software that allowed a car to drive all on its own.
That technology has since grown into a successful Blacksburg-based company that’s on the cutting edge of self-driving technology.
The company just completed its first cross-country road trip, and Mallory Noe-Payne was there as they pulled into their final stop.
President Donald Trump is backing up his unfounded claim that millions of illegal votes were cast for his opponent with a commission to investigate voter fraud. Washington correspondent Matt Laslo reports that many lawmakers from our region are dubious of the commission, and some Republicans wonder if it’s a top priority.
Money has become an increasingly important part of politics, and candidates spend a larger portion of their time on the campaign trail dialing for dollars. But, as Michael Pope reports, money does not always equal success.
Posted in Virginia's News on July 13, 2017
How should schools and teachers be evaluated in Virginia? And what role should standardized testing play. Michael Pope reports those tests are about to have less of an influence in schools across the Commonwealth.
Tuesday, state officials opened up the soon-to-be demolished General Assembly building in downtown Richmond for what might have been the largest yard sale in Virginia history… The public was invited to peruse and purchase all 11-stories of artifacts, office supplies and junk. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.
Virginia Indian tribes have been seeking federal recognition for decades, and they are closer now than they have ever been. But a new score from the Congressional Budget Office might be a stumbling block for moving forward. Michael Pope reports.
Posted in Virginia's News on July 11, 2017
As the Senate considers a major overhaul to the Affordable Care Act, parents of medically complex children are worried about their future, and what might happen to them if Medicaid is cut. This week, Democratic Senator Tim Kaine heard from several of these parents in a roundtable discussion in Northern Virginia. Michael Pope reports.
The Henrico County Fire Department says it was purely accidental when it recently achieved a first in employment diversity and Virginia’s famous Natural Bridge is also a working highway bridge, one that’s causing some safety concerns. 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.
After nearly a decade of work, the once-polluted, urban Lafayette River in Norfolk is rebounding. The Elizabeth River Project and Chesapeake Bay Foundation will build just five more acres of oyster reefs to become Virginia’s first river to meet Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration goals. Last week, federal, state and local legislators celebrated with community activists, but remain concerned that the president’s budget has zeroed out all bay cleanup funding. Pamela D’Angelo reports.
Police in Lynchburg are currently investigating the murder of Ebony Morgan, a transgender woman. Morgan had been shot multiple times before she was found and taken to the hospital last Sunday. But Morgan is not the first transgender victim in Virginia, and it has the region’s LGBTQ community shaken. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Unemployment is down across Virginia, although the numbers vary between metropolitan areas. Michael Pope is digging into the data.
Despite requests for clemency, Virginia executed 35-year-old William Morva Thursday night. Morva was convicted of killing a security officer and a sheriff’s deputy in 2006, but his lawyers say he suffered from serious mental illness. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Just hours prior to the execution Virginia’s Governor announced he would not grant clemency despite appeals from mental health advocates, lawmakers, and even experts from the United Nations. Lisa Kinney with Virginia’s Department of Corrections announced his execution Thursday night.
“When asked whether he had any last words Mr. Morva responded ‘No.’ Execution was carried out without complications,” Kinney told reporters.
Morva’s lawyers also raised concerns over the concoction of lethal injection drugs. Virginia law allows the state to buy the drugs in secret from compounding pharmacies, instead of directly from pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Virginia law allows the state to buy lethal injection drugs in secret from compounding pharmacies, instead of directly from pharmaceutical manufacturers. Many pharmaceutical companies have stopped selling the drugs under pressure from activists.
When Virginia last used this mix of chemicals for an execution in January, witnesses say the inmate appeared to gasp and convulse before dying.
Morva’s Lawyer Dawn Davison witnessed his execution.
“His stomach would concave in completely and he would kind of convulse a little bit as though he were gasping for air and that went on for perhaps a minute or two,” Davison told reporters afterward.
Only Texas has executed more people since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970’s.
Charlie Russell grew up on the west-side of Indianapolis in the 1950’s. In his all-black neighborhood the racial violence of the south that he saw on television felt far away. While he had experienced discrimination, he had never experienced fear. That changed, though, when he was in college in the blue-collar town of Muncie Indiana and the KKK held a rally.
Russell now lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This weekend a North Carolina-based chapter of the Ku Klux Klan plans to rally in Charlottesville.
Justices are siding with car-title lenders in their fight to keep key aspects of their business a secret. Michael Pope has the story.
Virginia’s governor has said he will not intervene in the execution of William Morva, set for 9 o’clock tonight. Sandy Hausman spoke with Terry McAuliffe shortly before he announced the decision.
The Shenandoah River was once considered a world class fishery. Now, sections are coated in a scummy, potentially toxic algae resulting from manure runoff from farms. Jessie Knadler takes a look at Virginia’s water pollution problem and seeks to find out why the state can’t or won’t protect the Shenandoah.
The pay-to-play scandal that resulted in the conviction of former Governor Bob McDonnell may have ended when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the jury’s unanimous decision, but Michael Pope reports that at least one part of that trial has lasting consequences.
William Morva was convicted of killing a security guard and sheriff’s deputy nine years ago. He had been jailed for robbery, and was delusional — convinced the prison food was killing him. Morva’s execution is scheduled for Thursday night, but opposition is mounting. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, experts from the UN have issued a statement.
With opioid addiction reaching what some are calling epidemic proportions in Danville, law enforcement has an obvious role to play. Treatment and prevention specialists say the Danville Police are doing more than just arresting offenders. Fred Echols reports.
How much information should the public have about members of the General Assembly? And how should they go about getting it? Michael Pope has the story.
Virginia isn’t getting any younger. In fact, new demographic projections about the state’s future show the Old Dominion is about to get significantly older.
In the next 20 years, the number of people over the age of 65 in Virginia is expected to double. That’s according to new state and local projections conducted by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia. Michael Pope reports.
As Virginians head into their holiday weekends, politics may be the last thing thing they want to talk about. But Virginia’s Republican candidate for Governor Ed Gillespie is taking advantage of the Fourth of July to announce a policy proposal: legalizing fireworks. Mallory Noe-Payne has the story.
Lawmakers in Washington are debating the future of the internet. How much should it be regulated? Or should it be regulated? These are some of the questions at the heart of the debate over net neutrality. Michael Pope reports.
In Washington, the House of Representatives voted in favor of two immigration bills introduced by U.S Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Roanoke). The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act passed 228 to 195, with three Democrats voting in favor and seven Republicans vote against. Kate’s Law passed 257 to 167, with 24 Democrats voting in favor and only one Republican voting against. Members of the Virginia delegation voted along party lines. Michael Pope has details.
Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2017
After losing the Democratic primary for governor, former Congressman Tom Perriello is now launching the next chapter in his political career. Michael Pope has the story.
A bipartisan array of state officials went to bat for the Chesapeake Bay yesterday, lobbying their Congressional representatives to restore $73 million in bay restoration funds that was chopped out of the 2018 federal budget. Pamela D’Angelo reports for Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative.
Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative is funded with grant support from the Clayton Baker Trust, The Bancroft Foundation, Michael and Ann Hankin, The Jim and Patty Rouse Foundation, The Rob and Elizabeth Tyler Foundation, and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
Last year, for every 100 babies born in Virginia, one was already suffering withdrawal from drug use. And while that statistic is alarming, health care providers are trying to see it as an opportunity — to reach patients who need the most help. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.
Republicans are moving away from their longtime use of conventions to select their statewide candidates. Party leaders recently chose a statewide primary rather than a convention to select their candidate to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Tim Kaine. Michael Pope has the story.
While lawmakers on Capitol Hill are debating health care, Virginia is in the midst of an opioid crisis. So how would the bills currently being debated address that crisis? Michael Pope has the story.
A vote on the Senate healthcare bill has been delayed, and part of the opposition to the measure is how it affects Medicaid spending. In Virginia, more than a million people are enrolled in Medicaid — about half are children. If the Senate healthcare bill were to become law, Medicaid would take a serious hit: a billion and a half dollars over the next seven years. That’s according to a recent analysis by the state agency that runs the program. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.