Archive for category Uncategorized

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

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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

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  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

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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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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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