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Population Projections Prove Precise

Predicting population growth is a tricky game.

But one Virginia institution has become the go-to source for state population predictions.

Michael Pope reports. 

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Va. News: Breaking The Cycle Of Violence

A community group dedicated to reducing gun violence is looking for more volunteers and more financial support. And the latest numbers show some changes in the list of most popular baby names in Virginia.

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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Virginia Governor Lifting Indoor Mask Mandate In Most Places

Gov. Ralph Northam announces the changes in a video message Friday.

Governor Ralph Northam lifted the indoor mask mandate for most settings a short time ago/Friday afternoon.

Virginia will also end COVID-19 mitigation measures on May 28th.

Jahd Khalil has more. 

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A Tick Closer to Understanding Lyme Disease

In Virginia, Lyme disease is transmitted by blacklegged ticks, infected with the Lyme disease-causing bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.
(Credit Virginia Tech)

Lyme disease is on the rise.  Higher global temperatures are part of the problem, helping ticks thrive. 

But it turns out, the infamous black legged deer tick that carries Lyme bacteria in North America, has a secret weapon that scientists have just identified. 

Robbie Harris reports.

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Kaine, Warner Call For End To Whiskey Tariff War

Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine are urging the Biden administration to take action to help Virginia whiskey makers.

Michael Pope explains why.

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Analysts: Relative Anonymity Could Be An Asset For Republican Statewide Ticket

Republicans now have a slate of candidates to head into the fall election season.

And, as Michael Pope reports, you might not have heard their names before.

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Political Newcomer Youngkin Wins Virginia GOP Governor Race

Republicans are heading into the fall election with a relatively unknown candidate for governor.

Michael Pope reports.

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GOP Vote Counting Begins; Miyares Wins Attorney General Nomination

An observer looks on as votes from the Republican Party of Virginia’s 2021 convention are tabulated on Sunday May 9th. (Credit: Jahd Khalil)

The drama during past Republican nomination contests has played out on the convention floor over hours.

Jahd Khalil reports that this year it’s being measured in rounds.

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Republican Convention Voters Cast Ballots In Ranked Choice System

Republican officials are adding up the convention votes cast in about 40 different polling places over the weekend.

Some of the voters from the 6th Congressional District shared their views on the process with Joe Staniunas.

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Va. News: Ramps And Rebel X-Wing Fighters

Foraging for ramps has become a popular, and risky, pastime. And a spacecraft flown long ago in a galaxy far away is in Virginia getting ready for its debut.

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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Dem. Gov. Candidates Promise Investment, Environmental Cleanup And Broadband At Southwest Va. Debate

Voting has already started for the June Democratic primary, and candidates for governor are moving toward the close of the campaign.

Michael Pope has more from their most recent debate.

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Blackface Scandal Resurfaces In Democrat Attorney General Debate

Mark Herring and Jay Jones debate Wednesday evening. (Credit: WJLA livestream)

In 2019, the state was rocked by two separate blackface scandals.  

Now, as Michael Pope reports, those scandals are playing out in the statewide Democratic primary.

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Vote Counting In Republican Nominating Convention Could Take Days

Republicans are getting ready for a multi-location convention, when they’ll select their candidates for statewide office.

As Michael Pope reports, don’t expect results for a few days.

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Va. News: Books Behind Bars and Back To School

A new plan for in-person education seems to be working well in one of the country’s biggest school systems… And a group from UVA is hoping inmates at the regional jail will benefit from studying Russian literature.

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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Virginia Minimum Wage Increases to $9.50

Virginia’s minimum wage will increase on Saturday to $9.50 an hour.

Economists say the trade off to higher wages could be higher unemployment. But Jahd Khalil reports if that happens it might not be for a while. 

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Delegate Suggests Removing Financial Incentive For Traffic Stops

(Credit: Va Capitol Police Twitter Page; @VaCapitolPolice)

Do local governments have a financial incentive for their police officers to make traffic stops?

Michael Pope reports.

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Does Attack Ad Signal Republican Front-Runner?

For weeks, groups aligned with Republican candidates have been attacking other Republican candidates for governor.

But now, as Michael Pope reports, Democrats are getting involved.

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Next Stop For Passenger Rail: The New River Valley?

An Amtrak passenger train rolls into Roanoke’s new station in 2017. (Credit: David Seidel)

As Amtrak marks its 50th anniversary Friday, Virginia may be on the verge of finally accomplishing a dream that’s been years in the making– expanding passenger rail into the New River Valley.

Michael Pope reports.

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Studies Document Impact Of Continuing School Segregation

Two new reports suggest Virginia schools are increasingly segregated by race and economic status. 

Sandy Hausman reports for many kids that means less access to educational opportunities.

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VDOE: Accelerated Math Not Being Eliminated

Virginia education officials are working to reassure families that they aren’t doing away with accelerated math courses.

Jahd Khalil reports on what is going on. 

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UVA Research May Improve Treatment of Anemia

Dr. Adam Goldfarb, chief of UVA Health’s Division of Experimental Pathology, led the research team studying anemia treatment.
(Credit UVA)

Scientists at the University of Virginia report what may be an important medical breakthrough. 

Laboratory testing shows the use of two cheap oral drugs can treat a common form of anemia that causes fatigue, headaches and dizziness in millions of patients. 

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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State Lab Tracks COVID Variants in Virginia

Virginia’s Consolidated Laboratory does more than 9 million tests per year.
(Credit: Commonwealth of Virginia)

The CDC is keeping a nervous eye on COVID-19 – watching for genetic changes that could mean a more dangerous form of the coronavirus is around. 

The analysis is time-consuming, so scientists in Atlanta can only check a small percentage of the cases being diagnosed, but they’re getting help from Virginia as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Self-Financing In The Race For Governor

Running for office usually requires a lot of fundraising.

But as Michael Pope reports, sometimes it also involves writing a check to finance your own campaign. 

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Va. News: Drug Dogs And Greenhouse Jobs

Virginia will soon be home to one of the largest greenhouses on the east coast. And with changes in marijuana laws this summer many drug sniffing dogs will be headed for retirement.

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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Richmond Artist Up for an Oscar

David Crank is nominated for an Oscar as production designer for the film News of the World. (Credit: David Crank)

The Academy Awards will be broadcast Sunday from Los Angeles, and one Virginia man will be in the audience, hoping for his first Oscar.

Sandy Hausman has his story.

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School Discipline System Reforms Coming Next Year

The Virginia Board of Education is moving towards reforming its discipline system for students.

Reform has been studied for a while but a presentation to the board of Education Tuesday indicated that changes are coming soon.

Jahd Khalil has this report. 

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Legislation Would Make Silencers Easier To Get

Rep. Bob Good (Credit: House of Representatives)

The debate over curbing gun violence has taken a new urgency in the wake of several recent shootings.

But one Virginia congressman is hoping to make silencers easier to get.

Michael Pope explains.

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Facing Two Primaries, Del. Elizabeth Guzman Drops Campaign For Lt. Governor

Del. Elizabeth Guzman (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

One of the candidates in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor is dropping out of the race to focus on keeping her current seat in the House of Delegates.

Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Eviction Representation And A Candidate Coincidence

Charlottesville City Council will decide whether the city should provide lawyers for low income tenants facing eviction. And two first-time candidates for the House of Delegates have something very personal in common.

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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Fundraising Numbers Give Insight Into Nomination Races

Friday we received our last major snapshot of candidate finances before the parties choose their nominees.

Jahd Khalil reports on a few big numbers in the gubernatorial race.

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Lawsuit Filed Against Virginia Employment Commission

Dead last – that’s where the U. S. Department of Labor says Virginia ranks among states when it comes to processing unemployment claims.

Thursday, five Virginians filed a lawsuit because of the issues.

Jahd Khalil spoke to one of their lawyers.

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COVID-19 May Cause Hair Loss

Credit: CDC

People infected with coronavirus usually suffer no long-term effects, but a few months after recovery some patients report significant hair loss. 

Sandy Hausman spoke with a medical expert about that surprising consequence of COVID-19.

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COVID-19 Clouds Unemployment Data

Virginia’s unemployment rate is 5.2 percent. But what’s behind that number, and how does it vary throughout the commonwealth?

Michael Pope reports.

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Northam Says He’ll Sign Coal Tax Credit Legislation Without UVA Wise Amendment

Two of the largest tax incentives in Virginia are about to end, although members of the General Assembly and the governor are divided about what to do with the money.

Michael Pope reports.

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New Guidance for School ‘Recovery’ Issued

Recovering from the pandemic is going to need thought. Schools and learning are no different.

Jahd Khalil has this report on the Virginia Department of Education’s plan for regaining ground lost during the pandemic.

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Redistricting Commission Develops Outreach Plan

A hybrid commission of citizens and lawmakers are going to draw new voting lines this fall.

In his last dispatch, Jahd Khalil reported they were figuring how to conduct business.

He says in Monday’s meeting, the commissioners were sorting out how to do that transparently. 

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Can PRO Act Get Democratic Support in Senate?

Rep. Bobby Scott

Last month, the House of Representatives passed a bill introduced by Congressman Bobby Scott that hopes to remedy the problem of full-time workers being misclassified as independent contractors.

But now, as Michael Pope reports, the bill is languishing in the Senate.

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Candidate Endorsements Roll In, But Do They Count for Much?

As the spring campaign season heads into the final stretch, candidates are rolling out endorsements.

Michael Pope takes a look whether the endorsements mean anything.

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Va. News: Dark Skies and Disinformation

Virginia Tech researchers are looking for ways to counteract misinformation.  And there’s now another place in Virginia where stargazers can get a clear view of the night sky.

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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Va. Supreme Court Sides with Charlottesville in Confederate Monuments Case

The Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

The city of Charlottesville is free to remove Confederate monuments that were at the center of violent protests in 2017.

Virginia’s Supreme Court says a state law protecting war memorials does not apply. 

Sandy Hausman has details.

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Will Marijuana Amendment Make it Through State Senate?

(Credit: Va. Capitol Police twitter)

When lawmakers meet next Wednesday for a one day session, they’ll consider legislation to legalize marijuana this summer.

Michael Pope has this preview of what to expect.

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Northam Amends Marijuana Legislation

(Credit: DEA.gov)

Governor Ralph Northam is amending a bill on marijuana legalization.

As Michael Pope reports, the governor’s amendment will make marijuana fully legal sooner than anticipated.

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Rural Drug Courts Struggle, Suceed During COVID-19

Drug court staff celebratw with Michael Hall. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Rural communities have struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their health care districts are underfunded and understaffed. Limited broadband and cell phone communication caused missed vaccine notifications.

And, it’s been especially hard on those enrolled in substance abuse treatment.

Pamela D’Angelo attended a recent Drug Treatment Court.

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Primary Races Fill Feeds With Digital Ads

The spring election season is here, and candidates are trying to think of new and creative ways of getting their message out during a pandemic.

Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Plastic Trash and Unexpected Treasure

A sketch in a simple frame at a Virginia thrift store turned out to be more significant – and more valuable – than it appeared to be. And Governor Ralph Northam has issued an order he hopes will reduce plastic pollution.

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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Marijuana Advocates Believe Northam has Heard Their Message to Speed Up Legalization

(Credit: DEA.gov)

Governor Ralph Northam is expected to announce his amendments to the marijuana bill on Monday.

And as Michael Pope reports he’s expected to move for legalization this year as opposed to waiting until 2024.

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Washington & Lee University Considers Dropping Lee From Name

Hundreds of students in favor of removing Robert E. Lee’s name participated in the walkout. (Credit: Randi B. Hagi)

Hundreds of students at Washington and Lee University in Lexington walked out of classes earlier this week. 

They wanted to show their support for dropping Lee from the college’s name.

Randi Hagi reports.

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Keeping Creditors From Your Stimulus Check

(Credit: David Seidel)

Stimulus money from the government is helping a lot of people stay afloat in a troubled economy.

But, Michael Pope reports, in Virginia, it doesn’t have to help creditors.

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Why are the Statewide Candidate Fields so Crowded?

Chances are you’re not running for statewide office. But the odds are probably more likely this spring than in the past.

Jahd Khalil spoke with a political analyst about why so many politicians think this is their year. 

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With COVID-19, Some Classes Move Outdoors and May Stay There

First grade teachers Marguerite Brunner reads to students at the Free Union Country School. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

For many children, COVID has meant educational setbacks as they struggled to absorb lessons online. 

But for others the pandemic has underscored the value of learning outside.  

Sandy Hausman reports on a school near Charlottesville where students spent 90-pecent of their time in fields, forests and tents.

The COVID crisis led many universities to move classes online, but at one state school in Virginia the choice was to move outside. 

Sandy Hausman reports on why one journalism professor is now pledging to keep his students away from the classroom even after the pandemic has passed.

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