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Senate Takes Action on Opioid Legislation


Credit: Rog Cogswell/CC via

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


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

LUSenate Forum

  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


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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Parents of Matthew Shepard Campaign for 6th District Candidate

IMG_5603 (1)

  Dennis and Judy Shepard speak at a campaign fundraiser for Jennifer Lewis at the Mill Street Grill in Staunton, September 13.
(Credit Jessie Knadler)

LGBTQ advocates Judy and Dennis Shepard, whose son Matthew was fatally tortured in Wyoming for his sexual orientation twenty years ago, recently joined Sixth District Democratic Congressional candidate Jennifer Lewis at a fundraiser in Staunton.

Jessie Knadler has more.

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Possible Tornadoes Sweep Through Richmond, Killing One

Chesterfield Tornado

Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne

One person has been killed following a likely tornado touchdown south of Richmond Monday evening.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, much of the Richmond area was under tornado watch Monday night, as the remnants of Florence moved through the area.

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Goodlatte Gets Praise for Shepherding Bill to Expand Marijuana Research


Rep. Bob Goodlatte/(R) 6th District

Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte is no fan of marijuana but he’s being applauded by the nation’s marijuana advocates.

Correspondent Matt Laslo has the story from the Capitol.  

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Research: Preparedness Education and Messaging May Not Be Enough


Credit: Elyaqim Mosheh Adam/

Hurricane season comes as no surprise to Virginians.  We know when it’s coming, and we know what the consequences might be.

So how good are we at preparing?

A professor at the University of Virginia analyzed records from thousands of grocery stores and reached some surprising conclusions as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Some Local Jails Won’t Move Prisoners from Hurricane Evacuation Zone


While parts of Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Norfolk, Virginia are under mandatory evacuation orders, prisoners at jails in those cities are staying put.

That’s upset one national non-profit which is crusading to get inmates out.

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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Hurricane Predictions: Understanding the Uncertainties


Virginia Tech Professor Robert Weiss recently completed a study on how climate change and sea level rise will supercharge future storm. (Credit: Virginia Tech)

When a hurricane is on the way, people are told to prepare for the worst.

But when it’s over, if the effects were not as bad as expected, what happens next time around?

Robbie Harris has more.

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From the Western to Eastern Shores of the Chesapeake Bay, People Ready for Florence


Edward Bowis moves a boat to shelter.
(Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

All this week people who live along the Chesapeake Bay have been preparing for whatever Hurricane Florence may bring.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Republicans and Democrats Hope to Reverse Federal Worker Pay Freeze


Credit Rog Cogswell, Creative Commons

About 40% of the U. S. House of Representatives has asked President Trump to rescind his plan for a pay freeze for the federal work force next year and instead give them a pay raise.

Correspondent Matt Laslo has the details from the Capitol.

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Latest Breathalyzer Tech Goes for a Test Drive in Virginia

Northam Breathalyzer

Governor Ralph Northam examines one of the demonstration vehicles. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

State officials announced a new partnership today/Monday, aimed at getting breathalyzer technology ready for wider commercial use in vehicles around the Commonwealth.

Mallory Noe-Payne has detail.

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Tech Giant, Local Agencies Work to Bring Broadband to Rural Virginia


A TV whitespace tower at a Virginia school (Credit: Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation & Microsoft)

Southern Virginia’s economy has been devastated by the loss of the tobacco and textile industries that sustained it through much of its history.

Now with the help of a corporate giant, local innovators are trying to remake part of Southside in the image of the digital age.

Fred Echols reports.

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Advocates Voice Concern About Growing Number of Women in Prison


Credit: mitchell hainfield / Flickr

Women make up 15% of Virginia’s jail and prison population, but the number of female inmates is rising rapidly.

The American Civil Liberties Union has issued a report on why that’s happening and what should be done.

Sandy Hausman has details.

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Remembering Arthur Ashe’s Path from Richmond to the U. S. Open Championship

Ashe Pic 4

Collection of Lou Einwick

As the U. S. Open men’s tennis final gets underway this weekend, many will mark Arthur Ashe’s barrier-breaking victory 50 years ago this Sunday.

Jason Fuller follows Ashe’s path from his hometown of Richmond to the championship.

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Third Party Candidate Ordered off the Ballot in Competitive Virginia Race

Shaun Brown

  Shaun Brown speaks with reporters after the ruling. She says she will appeal.
(Credit Mallory Noe-Payne)

Amidst findings of fraud, a judge in Richmond is ordering the independent candidate in a competitive Congressional race off the ballot this November.

Shaun Brown, a former Democrat running as an Independent in the 2nd District, says she will appeal the ruling.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports there’s still an ongoing criminal investigation, examining whether Republican Congressman Scott Taylor was involved.

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Sea Level Rise + Earthquakes +Tsunamis = More Coastal Flooding Ahead


Robert Weiss and his partners created computer-simulated tsunamis at current sea level and with sea-level increases of 1.5 feet and 3 feet in the Chinese territory of Macau. (Credit Virginia Tech)

A first of its kind study finds even a small rise in sea level could lead to more coastal flooding worldwide.

A team of scientists including experts from Virginia Tech predicts a warming planet will see more ‘worst case scenarios’ more often, if nothing is done to prevent it.

Robbie Harris reports.

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Va News: Telling the US Story of Slavery, UVA History


Next year Virginia will mark the 400th anniversaries of the beginnings of English-style legislatures and African slavery in Britain’s American colonies……and a report on slavery’s role at the University of Virginia finds grave robbing was once common at black cemeteries.

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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Special Redistricting Session Yields Few Results So Far


Credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr

Lawmakers were in Richmond Thursday to try to fix district maps for the state legislature.

The maps have been deemed unconstitutional by a federal court.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, they managed to get little done.


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Declining Numbers End Some High School Football Programs

Football Participation

Source: Virginia High School League

Some varsity football programs are struggling across Virginia because students aren’t showing up to play the game.

Michael Pope takes a look at the issue with high school football.

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Bipartisan Group to Propose Redistricting Constitutional Amendment


As lawmakers in Richmond battle over district lines, a heavy-hitting bipartisan group of former lawmakers want to change the way the entire process works.

The group includes Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Ward Armstrong. Along with legal experts, they plan to write and propose a new way to redistrict.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Habeeb’s General Assembly Career Begins and Ends With Redistricting


Del. Greg Habeeb (Credit: Friends of Greg Habeeb / Creative Commons)

Lawmakers are back in Richmond this week for a special session on redistricting.

And, for one lawmaker, it’s the last hurrah.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Stats Show Job Growth and Wage Growth Don’t Always Go Hand-In-Hand

BLS Job States

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Virginia is adding jobs, and wages are going up.

But, as Michael Pope reports, that’s not true all over the Commonwealth.

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Saving One of Virginia’s First African American Cemeteries


Claude Vann, III, co-chair of the 2019 Commemorative Commission, and William Foley Jones, a descendant of William Tucker, raise the Tucker banner as Verrandall Tucker, another descendent directs. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Virginia is preparing to mark a painful anniversary—the first Africans brought to English America as slaves.

Last week in Hampton, Governor Ralph Northam gathered with the descendants of William Tucker, the first African to be born in what would become the United States.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Trump Plan Shifts Clean Power Debate to States


Credit onnola/

President Trump’s new proposal to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan has sparked a debate in the Commonwealth about the state’s energy future.

Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

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Special Session to Redraw Districts May Not Get Far


State lawmakers will head back to Richmond August 30th for yet another special session.

But, as Michael Pope reports, don’t expect anything groundbreaking to happen anytime soon.

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Immigration, Abortion and Engaging College-aged Voters


A couple of hundred people attended the candidate forum inside Squires Student Center. (Credit: David Seidel

The race for one of Virginia’s seats in the U. S. Senate made stop at Virginia Tech Friday.

David Seidel was there as Tim Kaine and Corey Stewart took questions from an audience of hundreds.

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A Pipeline Update: Where Things Stand Now

Buckingham protester

Protesters in Buckingham County hope to stop construction of a massive compressor station there. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

Virginia’s Water Control Board will meet Tuesday to consider the question of whether the state should be inspecting every point on a river or stream where pipeline builders propose to cross.

The Department of Environmental Quality had concluded it was enough to let the Army Corps of Engineers do that, but more than 9,000 people wrote to DEQ to protest that decision.

Sandy Hausman has more on where things stand with the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines.

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VDOT Holds Second Round of 1-81 Corridor Meetings


Credit: Jeff Bossert

State transportation officials expect to have plans by late this year on how to free up congestion on Interstate 81.  

Jeff Bossert reports there’s a chance for public input over the next few days.

Click here for a list of upcoming meetings

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Shifts in Global Market Make it Important to Recycle Right


  As buyers of recycled materials raise standards, waste managers are encouraging people to be careful about how they recycle. (Credit kennysarmy / Flickr CC)

Much of recycled cardboard in the U.S. used to head straight to China.

But in March, the government there decided to raise standards for importing recycled material.

And as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, that’s had an impact right here in Virginia.

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After Hours Emails & Texts Affect Employees and Families’ Well Being


(Credit: Virginia Tech)

Our electronic devices have made communicating quick and easy.

But social scientists say there’s a downside to our ‘always on’ work culture that is hurting employees, and their families.

Robbie Harris reports.

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Va. News: Significance of an Old House in Roanoke, counterfeit Chesapeake Bay blue crabs


A Virginia civil rights leader will be honored with a long overdue monument…and counterfeiting isn’t just for money. It can happen with crab cakes too.

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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Harmony, Not Hate, The Goal For C’ville Sing Out


More than 400 people are expected for the C’ville Sing Out at IX Park or — in the event of rain — at the Zion First African Baptist Church Sunday at 4 p.m. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

Whatever happens this weekend in Charlottesville, some people are determined to make the best of it.

A group of more than 400 music lovers will gather at IX Park at 4 p.m. Sunday for the C’ville Sing Out!

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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One Year Out, Charlottesville Is a Different Place


Charlottesville looks the same, but much has changed since the Alt-Right invaded on August 12 of 2017. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

If white supremacists return to Charlottesville this weekend, they will find a very different city.

There are new rules in place, new leaders in charge, and an even larger group of vocal opponents.

Those changes would make for a different experience this year as Sandy Hausman reports.

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CodeRVA Heads into Second Year


Credit Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIOIQ

CodeRVA, central Virginia’s newest regional magnet school, is heading into its second year, with almost double the students and more than triple the employees.

Mallory Noe-Payne has this update.

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In An Election Year, Is There Political Will On Any Side To Fix The ACA?


(Credit: Rog Cogswell/Creative Commons)

While the health insurance system set up under the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, remains in place, premiums are expected to rise again significantly this fall.

That has members of Congress from the commonwealth pointing fingers and also floating ideas for how to protect patients from rising costs.

Washington correspondent Matt Laslo reports it’s not clear any of the ideas have enough support to become law.

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VCU Research Aims To Reconnect Brain With Sense Of Smell


Smell Docs

Dr. Richard Costanzo (left) and Dr. Daniel Coelho (Credit: Sandy Hausman

It’s not unusual for people to lose some degree of hearing and vision as they age, and it turns out our sense of smell also declines over time.

Accidents and disease might also be to blame when people have trouble detecting odors.

Until now, there have been no good treatments, but scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University say they may have a solution.

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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Va News: Alexandria Struggles with New Park name, Plastic Straws in Clark County Schools


There’s controversy in Northern Virginia after the name of a Revolutionary War figure was removed from a new park and plastic straws are mostly a thing of the past in one Virginia school district.

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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LEAF Program Connects Students With Wilderness


Participants in the Nature Conservancy’s LEAF program (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

The labor market in this country is tight right now, and the competition for young talent is especially keen at non-profits like the Nature Conservancy.

That’s one reason the organization started a program to interest urban kids in conservation.

Sandy Hausman met up with three city slickers in the Warm Springs Nature Preserve to see how they were adjusting to life in the country.

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Kaine-Stewart Fight Over Trade Focuses Attention On Danville

Dvill Manufacturing

The city of Danville in southside Virginia has become the epicenter of Virginia politics, as candidates for the United States Senate clash over international trade policy.

Michael Pope reports.

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Sister of Man Shot by Richmond Police Says He Was Having Mental Breakdown


Princess Blanding, the sister of Marcus David Peters, speaks to reporters. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

The sister of an unarmed man shot by Richmond Police back in May says his toxicology report has come back clean, reaffirming her belief that he was having a mental health crisis when he was killed.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Experts Say What Happens In The Arctic Affects Norfolk Flooding


  Andria McClellan asking a question of Joshua Saks, Virginia Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources.
(Credit Pamela D’Angelo)

Parts of Hampton Roads have been swamped by rain this week.

Regardless of rain or shine, many parts of southeast Virginia have a flooding problem, affecting communities and military readiness.

The College of William & Mary Center for Climate and Security has been using small conferences to bring experts together to tackle the problem.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Scott’s College Debt Proposal Gets Attention, Skepticism


Rep. Bobby Scott (Credit: House of Representatives)

Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott may not be locked in a tough reelection campaign, but party leaders want him to play a big role in the election outcome this fall through getting behind his plan for debt–free college.

Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

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After legislative action, Dominion launches “Grid Transformation Program”

Dominion Logo

Thanks to a new state law customers of Dominion Energy received a small rebate this month, and will again in January.

And now state regulators are getting their first look at how the law will affect Virginia’s power grid.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Tent Pitching Protest Against the ACP


Lynne and Bill Limpert are fighting to save their farm from destruction by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

Camping is a popular summer activity, and some opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are hoping to capitalize on that – inviting those who’d like to pitch a tent in a beautiful place to come to Bath County.

Sandy Hausman reports on this novel approach to protest.

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Permit Request Dropped For Second “Unite The Right” Rally

Kessler hearing

Community activist Rosia Parker (in pink) speaks with a reporter outside the courthouse. (Credit: Emily Richardson-Lorente)

The legal fight over a second “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville ended suddenly Tuesday afternoon.

Emily Richardson-Lorente was in the federal courtroom.

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Virginia Voter Roll Purges Attract Scrutiny


(Credit: Joe Hall/

Are the voter rolls in Virginia full of former voters who have moved or died?

Or as some argue, perhaps the problem is that election officials are becoming too aggressive in purging the rolls.

Michael Pope reports.

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Kaine And Stewart Square Off In First Debate


(Credit: Rog Cogswell/Creative Commons)

Candidates on the ballot for United States Senate met in their first debate over the weekend, previewing the fall campaign season.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Va. News: Lee County Schools want to arm teachers and do Toll Roads hurt spending in Hampton Roads?


A Southwestern Virginia county plans to become the first in the state to arm teachers… and it’s proving very difficult to figure out how bridge and tunnel tolls affect business profits 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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