Archive for category Virginia’s News

Congressman Beyer: NASA should be able to lease out some of its facilities

A sounding rocket launches from NASA’s Wallops Island facility. (Credit: NASA Wallops Twitter Page (@NASA_Wallops)

A Virginia congressman is hoping that NASA might be able to raise some extra money to help fund infrastructure on Wallops Island. Michael Pope reports.

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As Lee pedestal comes down, the question how to display altered monuments comes to the fore

Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ

Work to remove the pedestal that held up the statue of Robert E Lee on Richmond’s Monument Avenue started Monday. Workers removed the statue three months ago. Its final home hasn’t been decided yet. Jahd Khalil reports that when it comes to the monuments, context is everything.

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State regulators reject heat stress standard for Virginia workers

Advocates for protecting workers from heat stress were unsuccessful in persuading state officials to create a new standard. Michael Pope reports.

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Eliminating the grocery tax would leave some local governments looking to replace that revenue

On the campaign trail, the Republican candidate for governor said he wanted to eliminate the sales tax on groceries. Now that Glenn Youngkin’s about to take office, lawmakers are about to start considering how to make that happen. Michael Pope reports.

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Brent Pry ready to go as Virginia Tech’s new head football coach

Coach Pry (center) flanked by Athletic Director Whit Babcock (left) and school president Tim Sands (right) at Thursday’s press conference. (Credit: Virginia Tech Football Twitter Page, @HokiesFB)

There’s a new man in charge of the Virginia Tech football team. Brent Pry was introduced at a press conference Thursday. Nick Gilmore has details.

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Va. News: Permanent open alcohol zones, Norfolk litter data gathering

Credit: VPAP

Data science is about to be brought in to fight littering in Norfolk. And it’s getting easier in Virginia to have a drink while you browse in your favorite shop.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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Republicans could work to roll back Virginia’s red flag law

Now that Republicans are about to come into power in Richmond, many of the new laws passed by Democrats may be reconsidered. Michael Pope reports on one gun violence prevention measure that some are hoping to overturn.

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Lawmakers to consider legislation that would change how absentee votes are counted

Lawmakers are about to consider a bill that supporters say would make elections more transparent and produce better data. Michael Pope reports.

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Renewed focus on clemency as Gov Northam’s term nears its end

The Governor’s Mansion in Richmond, VA. Photographed on August 31, 2021 (Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ)

Those incarcerated in Virginia before 1995 generally only have one option to get out of jail early: the governor has to grant them clemency. As Governor Ralph Northam enters his last full month in office, his time to make those decisions is running out. Jahd Khalil has this report.

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Credible messengers legislation will be up for debate during the upcoming General Assembly session

Credit: NPR

Lawmakers may soon consider legislation aimed at a unique method that will hopefully prevent children from getting caught up in the criminal justice system. Michael Pope reports.

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Advocates hope more minor peer courts pop up across Virginia

Credit: MBANDMAN / FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS: FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/MBANDMAN/23033039562

The effort to prevent young people from finding themselves caught up in the criminal justice system has a new tool. Michael Pope reports on the emergence of peer courts.

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With Medicaid funding returning to normal, what’s in store for the next budget?

The pandemic has been a watershed moment in public health. That’s been especially apparent when it comes to Medicaid, which insures half a million people in Virginia. Reporter Jahd Khalil has a preview of what could be in store for the state’s Medicaid budget. 

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Mattaponi and Pamunkey fulfill 1677 treaty obligations at governor’s mansion

Governor Ralph Northam receives tributes under the 1677 Treaty of Middle Plantation at the Governor’s Mansion on Wednesday November 24, 2021. (Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ)

Each year the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Tribes fulfill a legal obligation that has become a Thanksgiving fixture in Virginia. Jahd Khalil has more.

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Lawmakers will consider how much say school officials have over crime reporting

How much discretion should school officials have about contacting law enforcement when they suspect a crime has been committed? Michael Pope reports on a bill that would take away some of that discretion.

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Family leave is up for debate in Congress, but one state lawmaker wants even more than the current proposal

Lawmakers are preparing to return to Richmond for next year’s General Assembly session, and lawmakers are already introducing bills, including one expanding family and medical leave. Michael Pope has details.

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The pandemic and its impact on instruction is wreaking havoc on some school kids

Research is still being conducted, but early data suggests about 20% of school children are experiencing moderate to clinical levels of psychological trauma symptoms – things like anxiety, depression or even aggression. Nick Gilmore reports.

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Lt Governor Fairfax and Lt Governor-elect Sears meet for the first time

Credit: Winsome Sears’ Twitter Page (@WinsomeSears)

Winsome Sears made history this November as the first woman of color to be elected to statewide office. On the sidelines of a routine revenue meeting Monday, reporter Jahd Khalil witnessed another, quieter, historic moment.

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Democrats in the state Senate likely to serve as a check on the Youngkin administration’s agenda

Credit: NPR

Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin will enter the Executive Mansion with a Republican House of Delegates. But, he’ll also be facing a Democratically-controlled Senate. Michael Pope reports.

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Budget planning for schools will be more difficult because of COVID-19

A presentation by budget planners Tuesday revealed the extra obstacles school closures face to education funding, two years out. Jahd Khalil has details.

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Virginia driver’s licenses may soon include racial and ethnic information

Credit: DMV Twitter Page (@VirginiaDMV)

Lawmakers are about to consider legislation that would change what kind of information appears on Virginia driver’s licenses. Michael Pope reports.

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Justin Fuente is out as Virginia Tech football coach

Credit: Virginia Tech Football Twitter Account (@HokiesFB)

Justin Fuente and Virginia Tech have parted ways. Nick Gilmore has more about the football coach’s tenure in Blacksburg and what’s next for the program.

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Now that Republicans control the House of Delegates, will the Clean Economy Act be revisited?

Credit: Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Now that Republicans have won control of the Executive Mansion and the House of Delegates, will they be able to roll back some of the new environmental regulations approved by Democrats over the last two years? Michael Pope reports.

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The Virginia Board of Elections certifies November 2nd results

Journalists and analysts called this month’s election for Republicans a few hours after the polls closed, but Monday the Board of Elections met to decide whether it would certify local election boards’ results. Jahd Khalil has this report. 

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Charter Schools Appear Poised to Change Dramatically Next Year

The upcoming session of the General Assembly may see some major changes in terms of how charter schools work in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Youngkin Meets Northam As Transition Begins

Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ

With voting in Virginia’s gubernatorial election over, a Republican is heading back to Virginia’s Governor’s Mansion. Governor Ralph Northam met Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin there for lunch in the first step of what appears to be a collaborative transition. Jahd Khalil reports.

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The Legality of Next Year’s General Assembly Session Could Be Called Into Question

Credit: NPR

The newly elected House of Delegates will have to deal with a thorny question about its legitimacy. Michael Pope explains.

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How Tuesday’s High Turnout Numbers Impacted the Results

Voters turned out in massive numbers this week, exceeding expectations and setting new records. Michael Pope is taking a look at the numbers.

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Avula: Virginia to Receive Enough Vaccinations for More Than Half of 5-11 Population This Week

The Centers for Disease Control gave final approval to COVID-19 vaccinations for kids aged five to 11 earlier this week. And, Virginia has been preparing for that rollout for some time now. Nick Gilmore reports.

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Sears’ Win is Historic, But Tuesday Leaves the General Assembly with Fewer Black Members

Winsome Sears’ win last night as the Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate was historic. Sears is the first Black woman elected to a statewide office. But, as Michael Pope reports, one of the other outcomes of Tuesday will be fewer Black members in the General Assembly.

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Voter Turnout Likely to Play a Big Role in the Outcome of Tuesday’s Elections

When the polls close Tuesday and the vote counting starts, one thing to watch with the election returns is voter turnout. Michael Pope explains why.

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Trump Will Be on the Call for a Telephone Rally Monday Night, Youngkin Declines to Participate

Donald Trump is expected to call into a telephone town hall tonight to speak in favor of Republican candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin. Michael Pope has this preview.

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This Isn’t the First Time Banning Books Has Popped Up in Virginia Politics

Suddenly the campaign for governor has become a referendum on banning books. Michael Pope reports it’s not the first time classroom material has become campaign fodder.

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How Virginia’s Gubernatorial Candidates Are Handling Big Names on the Campaign Trail

Credit: NPR

With just days to go before Election Day, the candidates for governor are taking radically different approaches on bringing in big name supporters. Michael Pope reports.

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The Potential Environmental and Racial Justice Implications of the Mountain Valley Pipeline

Credit: Kurt Holtz

State officials are about to make a key decision that could have environmental ramifications for generations to come. But as Michael Pope reports, the decision could also have racial justice implications.

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A Closer Look at the Narrative Surrounding Virginia’s Crime Rate

Credit: NPR

If you’ve seen many political ads this fall, you may have the impression that Virginia is experiencing a crime wave. But, criminal justice advocates say the numbers tell a different story. Michael Pope reports.

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Dominion Settlement Yields Money for Offshore Wind, Smart Meters and Refunds to Consumers

Credit: U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management

In 2015, Virginia’s General Assembly passed a law that barred state regulators from looking at the financial records kept by the state’s largest utility – Dominion.  This year the books were open, and customers will be paying a little less for power as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Federal Hemp Survey Could Help Lack of Info in Virginia

Virginia legalized small amounts of marijuana this July, but hemp, which comes from the same plant, has been regulated in the state since 2015. The USDA is asking farmers about their hemp crops for the first time nationwide. The survey could give valuable data to hemp farmers who lack information and for investors looking to build infrastructure for the burgeoning industry. Jahd Khalil has details.

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Cleaning Up Virginia’s Energy Grid Could Have a Hefty Price Tag

The cost of energy is on the rise across Virginia, prompting a debate about the cost of addressing climate change. Michael Pope reports.

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Many Workers Haven’t Returned; Could That Lead to More Automation?

As schools return to in-person classes and pandemic-restrictions are reduced, Virginia’s economy is still missing many of the workers from before the pandemic. Michael Pope reports.

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New Federal Data Shows Job Growth Varies Across Virginia

Federal data shows job growth in Virginia is uneven. As Michael Pope reports, one part of the Commonwealth is doing particularly well.

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Controversy Abounds for Virginia’s Redistricting Commission

Commission members met virtually Monday morning following a heated meeting Friday (Credit: Redistricting Commission Livestream)

Virginia’s Redistricting Commission remains embroiled in controversy. Members spent much of Monday’s meeting discussing last week’s fireworks. Nick Gilmore has details.

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With Commission Deadlocked on Race’s Relationship to Districts, Most Public Comment Focuses on Local Concerns

The Virginia Redistricting Commission gathering public comment for the Central Region, on October 6th, 2021. (Credit: Screenshot / Virginia Redistricting Commission)

Commissioners hoped public comment would guide their work ahead of a deadline Sunday. There was widespread public participation, but relatively few commenters spoke about race and ethnicity’s place in the new maps despite that issue being the main roadblock to consensus maps. Jahd Khalil reports.

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City Council to Library Boards: Should Local Entities Be Allowed to Meet Virtually?

The pandemic has opened up local governments to all kinds of virtual meetings. But that was only during the declared state of emergency. Michael Pope reports on an effort to keep at least some of those electronic meetings after the pandemic is over.

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Changes to SNAP Mean More Benefits Are on the Way to Virginia Families

Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Struggling families across Virginia are about to get a little more help. Michael Pope reports that people who receive food assistance are about to see a moderate increase.

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A McAuliffe Veto Has Become a Flash Point in the Governor’s Race

The debate between the major party candidates for governor this week is renewing a discussion about what books are taught to schoolchildren. Michael Pope reports.

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Incumbency Returns to Redistricting Debate, Again

A proposed map for the House of Delegates displayed during the September 29, 2021 meeting of the Virginia Redistricting Commission. (Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ)

Virginia’s Redistricting Commission continues to make compromises on its own criteria as an October 10th deadline quickly approaches. Incumbency, a familiar and unpopular issue, is resurfacing. Jahd Khalil reports.

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RC Poll: McAuliffe Leads Youngkin by Seven Points; Republicans More Enthusiastic to Vote

Credit: NPR

Fresh on the heels of the second and final debate, a new poll shows the race for governor is still tight leading into the final few weeks of the election. Michael Pope reports.

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What Makes New Districts “Fair?”

Senator George Barker (left), Senator Bill Stanley, and Delegate Delores McQuinn discuss maps during a September 27, 2021 meeting of the Virginia Redistricting Commission. (Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ)

The Virginia Redistricting Commission considered maps for the House of Delegates Wednesday. And the question of “political fairness” is likely to continue to arise, both because of legal requirements on the commission and politics. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Youngkin, McAuliffe to Meet in Final Debate Tuesday Night

The race for governor is in the spotlight this week, as the two major-party candidates meet for the last time in a televised debate. Michael Pope has this preview.

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What Happens When the Sun Isn’t Shining? Virginia’s Need for Renewable Backups

Virginia is in the midst of a transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. And as Michael Pope reports, that transition will require new ways to store energy for when it’s needed.

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