Archive for category Virginia’s News

Rate Freeze Debate Includes What to Do With Excessive Utility Profits

Terry Kilgore

Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Scott, wants to lift Virginia’s utility rate freeze and give some of that money back to ratepayers. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber, File)

Your power bill may be including a little something extra in the coming weeks. But will it be what you deserve? Lawmakers are dividing, and Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Shoot! Cursing is Still a Crime in Virginia

Michael Webert, David Yancey

Del. Michael Webert, R-Culpeper, left, talks with Del. David Yancey, R-Newport News during the House session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. Webert’s bill to decriminalize cursing in Virginia failed to advance to the full House of Delegates. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Lawmakers in Richmond occasionally curse at each other as debates get heated. And, as Michael Pope explains, they’re breaking the law.

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Virginia Lawmakers Talk Shutdown, Spending And DACA

Washington Weather

Snow falls on the Capitol early Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (Credit: AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

The federal government could be lurching towards a partial shutdown this weekend if lawmakers can’t reach a deal on so-called Dreamers and defense spending. Matt Laslo reports.

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Snow-Related Legislation on the Minds of Lawmakers This Snow Day

Winter Weather Virginia

Snow covers the traffic circle around the monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond earlier this month. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Many schools and businesses were closed Wednesday because of snow. But lawmakers in Richmond were hard at work. And, as Michael Pope reports, they are considering two snow-related bills.

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With a New Governor at the Helm, Can the General Assembly Work in a Bipartisan Manner?

Ralph Northam, Kirk Cox, Justin Fairfax

Governor Ralph Northam gestures during his first State of the Commonwealth address to a joint session of the General Assembly. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

The British classic rock band known as the Who famously belted out “Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss.” As Michael Pope reports, Republicans say that sentiment could have been written about the Executive Mansion in Richmond.

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Northam Asks Lawmakers To Pass Progressive Agenda In Address

Ralph Northam, Kirk cox, Justin Fairfax, Stephen Newman

Gov. Ralph Northam, bottom center, waves to the gallery prior to delivering his State of the Commonwealth address as Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, top left, House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, top center, and State Sen. Stephen Newman, R-Bedford, applaud before a joint session of the Virginia General Assembly at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Virginia’s new governor is at work in Richmond this week, trying to accomplish something that eluded his predecessor. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Lawmakers Debate Legislation to Remove Utility Rate Freeze

Sam Rasoul

Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-Roaonke) is sponsoring a bill that would lift a utility rate freeze in Virginia — something he calls “the most corrupt utility law ever passed in Virginia history.” (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Lawmakers are talking energy regulation, although they’re not agreeing on much. Michael Pope is at the Capitol with the latest.

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Virginia Senate Deals Blow to Progressive Gun Agenda

Michelle Person

Michelle Person, of Poquoson Va., holds a shirt along with other demonstrators remembering the victims of the shootings at Virginia Tech during a anti-gun violence rally at the Capitol in Richmond. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

A progressive agenda on gun control hit a Republican wall at the state capitol Monday. But new Governor Ralph Northam says he won’t stop pushing for laws to prevent gun violence. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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VA News: Vets Clinic Debate, Controversial GOP Meeting Speaker

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

Stafford County supervisors were left puzzled when apparent opposition to a plan for a new veterans’ medical clinic seemed to evaporate overnight. And, Amherst County Republicans were barred their usual meeting place in the basement of the Sheriff’s office over a controversial speaker.

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.

Click here for the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News Link.

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The Doctor is In the House, Ralph Northam Takes Oath of Office

Virginia Inauguration

Governor-elect Ralph Northam and his wife, Pam, arrive at the south portico before Northam took the oath of office during inauguration ceremonies at the Capitol. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Doctor Ralph Northam now has a new title, Governor Ralph Northam. In his inaugural speech, he talked about the lessons he learned from his parents on the Eastern Shore as well as his time as a pediatric neurologist. Michael Pope reports.

Among the inaugural parade were staff and patients from the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, where Northam provided care for 25 years. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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People Protected Under DACA Have Big Impact on Virginia Economy

Immigration

Demonstrators hold up balloons during an immigration rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), programs, near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (Credit: AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana)

Congress is in the midst of a heated discussion about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an immigration policy that will have important consequences for families across the country. But, as Michael Pope reports, it will also have dramatic consequences for Virginia’s economy.

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Why Medicaid Expansion Could Hinge On A Drawing By Lot

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Governor Terry McAuliffe

Four years ago, Terry McAuliffe was elected on, partly, a platform of expanding Medicaid. So far, he has been unable to deliver on that promise. But Democrats are hoping his last budget will plant the seeds for that to happen after he’s no longer in office. Michael Pope reports.

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A More Diverse Virginia Includes an Aging Population

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Virginia is becoming more diverse, and the birth rate is declining. But one demographic trend stands out as the most prominent change. Michael Pope has the story.

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Virginia Beer Boom Tries To Break Through With Virginia Barley

craftbeerVirginia’s beer industry is booming and more farmers are delving into the raw ingredients needed to meet the high demand. So why is finding a beer brewed from all-Virginia ingredients still tough? Jessie Knadler reports.

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Unless Court Intervenes, House of Delegates Control to Be Determined Next Week

Virginia Inauguration

Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber

Last week, election officials called off a random drawing to determine the winner of a House race in Newport News. Now, as Michael Pope reports, the tie-breaker is back on.

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The On-Going Debate Over Standardized Testing in Virginia

College Test Prep

Credit: AP Photo / Alex Brandon, File

As lawmakers return to Richmond this year, many of them will be focused on reforming Virginia’s system of standardized testing. Michael Pope has the story.

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Bird Count Brings Old Friends And New Scientists Together

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At dawn along the Potomac River at the George Washington’s Birthplace National Monument from left Kent Ihrman, Bill Portlock and Chuck Gibson count birds. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Every year from December 14 through January 5, bird enthusiasts and citizen scientists throughout North America spend a day counting species. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

Click here for more about the Audubon Society’s bird count.

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Young People Put Off Joining Workforce in Virginia

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Young people are increasingly delaying their entry into the workforce, a trend that could have drastic consequences for what happens when they do finally get that first job. Michael Pope is digging into the numbers.

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Random Draw Put on Hold as Democrats File Challenge to Recount

Virginia Election Recount

The contested ballot at the heart of a dramatic recount in Virginia’s 94th House of Delegates race. (Credit: City of Newport News / The Virginian Pilot via AP)

Plans to break a tie in a Virginia House of Delegates race with a random drawing have been put on hold. Democrat Shelly Simonds is challenging the recount results that gave her opponent, Republican David Yancey, one extra vote. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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A Look Back at the Last Time Virginia’s House of Delegates Was Tied

Session Midway

Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber

Election officials had planned to break a tie in a Virginia House race by choosing a winner at random today. But, it’s been postponed after the Democrat announced plans to challenge results in court. That means control of the House of Delegates is still up in the air, with one potential outcome being a 50-50 tie. If that result comes to pass, Michael Pope reports that it wouldn’t be a first for Virginia.

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Gilmore Pondering Run For Senate

Jim Gilmore

Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore gestures as he addresses the Virginia State Republican Convention in Harrisonburg, Va., Saturday, April 30, 2016. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Election 2017 is not quite over yet as recounts and legal challenges move forward. But the politics of 2018 are already getting hot and heavy. Michael Pope has details.

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Power Sharing In The General Assembly? It’s Happened Before

Virginia Inauguration

Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber

With Democrats and Republicans so evenly split in the House of Delegates, members may be forced into a power-sharing agreement. Virginia’s previous experience with power sharing had mixed results. Michael Pope reports.

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Northam Taps Northern Virginia Middle School Teacher for Education Secretary

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Governor-elect Ralph Northam names Beville Middle School teacher Atif Qarni as the next secretary of education. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Governor-elect Ralph Northam is filling out key Cabinet posts in the run-up to his inauguration next month, and this week he’s outlining his new education team. Michael Pope has the story.

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Chris Hurst Goes to Richmond

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Chris Hurst thanks supporters for his election to the Virginia House of Delegates representing the New River Valley.

When the Virginia General Assembly convenes next month, there’ll be a lot of new faces. Among them, New River Valley Democrat Chris Hurst.  His race turned out to be most expensive in state history and part of the blue wave that rafted more Democrats into the house, than we’ve seen in a generation. Robbie Harris reports.

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A Monumental Recount in the 94th District Has Taken Another Turn

Virginia Election Recount

Election officials in Newport News, Va., examine ballots that a computer failed to scan during a recount for a House of Delegates race on Tuesday. The recount initially gave the race to Democrat Shelly Simonds by a one-vote margin, but a three judge panel certified a ballot in favor of Republican incumbent David Yancey that had been thrown out. The race is now tied. (Credit: AP Photo / Ben Finley)

All eyes are on the 94th District in Newport News, where a roller-coaster recount has wound up as a tied race. At stake is control of Virginia’s legislature. Mallory Noe-Payne has an earlier response from Governor-Elect Ralph Northam.

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The Political Toll of Dynamic Tolling

Capital Beltway Expansion

Credit: AP Photo / Cliff Owen

Drivers in Northern Virginia are still being hit with record-high tolls, some as much as $40 for a one-way trip in express lanes during some rush hours. Michael Pope has this look at the politics of dynamic tolling.

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House of Delegates Control Up for Grabs, Three Recounts Scheduled For This Week

Session Midway

Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber

Election officials are combing through a handful of recounts this week while control of the House of Delegates hangs in the balance. Michael Pope has the story.

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Governor McAuliffe Unveils Budget, Push for Medicaid

Ralph Northam, Terry McAuliffe, Pam Northam

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, right, listens to Gov.-elect, Ralph Northam, center, as Pam Northam, left, looks on during a news conference in the Governors mansion. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Lawmakers in Richmond today they got their first glimpse of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s priorities for the upcoming legislative session when the outgoing Governor unveiled his final budget proposal for the state. Mallory Noe-Payne was there and has this report.

Governor McAuliffe also wants to give health insurance to Virginia’s poor. The Governor has unsuccessfully pushed to expand Medicaid for four years, but is hoping this year will be different.

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Va. News Topics: Fracking And Public Nudity

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

Two Virginia counties are currently trying to resolve questions about state law. Westmoreland County is wondering whether it can ban fracking and Middlesex is trying to figure out when it’s illegal to appear nude in public.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week a the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link. More now from Fred Echols.

Click here for the Virginia Public Access Project

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Estimating Immigration in Virginia

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

Immigration policy has become one of the most hotly debated topics in Washington and in Richmond. But, as Michael Pope reports, some key details are missing.

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A Christmas Conversation With John Waters

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Credit: James Callahan

Filmmaker, comedian and writer John Waters is returning to Richmond’s Byrd Theatre with an all new, live Christmas show. Reporter Brad Kutner spoke with the so-called “Pope of filth” about the holidays and his favorite Christmas traditions ahead of this show.

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Gillespie: ‘I’m a Better Person’ for Having Run for Governor

Ed Gillespie

Republican candidate for Virginia governor Ed Gillespie pauses while speaking with reporters after voting at his polling place on Election Day. (Credit: AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

In his first interview since losing the race for Governor, Republican Ed Gillespie says he’s rooting for Governor-elect Ralph Northam. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Is Mandatory Training Effective In Stopping Sexual Harassment?

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Credit: Creative Commons

As the wave of sexual assault allegations continues to break, one Virginia congresswoman is moving forward with a new training requirement for members of Congress and their staffers. But there is disagreement whether training alone can be effective. Michael Pope reports.

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Unusual Pipeline Rulings Leave Advocates to Wonder: What Now?

Atlantic Coast Pipeline

A No Pipeline sign is posted next to a property line marker only a few feet from the center line of the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

Anti-pipeline advocates are taking stock this week, after a confusing set of decisions by state regulators. They’ve decided to treat two pipeline projects differently, granting approval to one but demanding more review on the other. Mallory Noe-Payne has this look at what’s next.

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Lawsuit Could Open Virginia To Uranium Mining

Virginia Uranium

In this Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 photo, a Virginia Uranium Inc. project manager operates a Geiger counter in a hole next to the road near a uranium deposit on the Coles Hill Farm in Chatham, Va. A three-decade ban on uranium mining in Virginia has put the richest known deposit of the radioactive ore in the U.S. off limits to mining. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

A lawsuit that could clear the way for a uranium mine to open in Southside Virginia will likely be argued early next year in Wise County. Fred Echols reports.

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Both Sides Claim Cautious Victory on Key Regulatory Hurdle for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

William K. Jones

Hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Va. The pipeline has broad support from political and business leaders, but is staunchly opposed by environmentalists and many affected landowners. (Credit: Steve Helber / AP Photo)

Anti-pipeline protesters were vocal through two days of public hearings on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. But when a vote finally came, there were no rounds of applause, no shouts of anger. Just confusion. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Atlantic Coast Pipeline Faces Last Hurdle in Virginia

David Paylor

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality director, David Paylor, walks along a retention pond for a spring near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

The controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline faces its final regulatory hurdle in Virginia: permits to be voted on by the state water control board. The two day board meeting began Monday morning with a pump-up for anti pipeline activists. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Va. News Topics: Adjunct Faculty Pay And Padlocks

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

Annoyed residents in a Norfolk neighborhood are calling for a grand jury to investigate a footbridge. And Virginia Commonwealth University is under pressure to increase pay for part-time teachers in its nationally-acclaimed art school. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

Fred Echols has more.

Click here for more from the Virginia Public Access Project

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Virginia Water Board Certifies Mountain Valley Pipeline

Mountain Valley Pipeline

A crowd listens during the start of a meeting of the State Water Control Board in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

After two full days of public hearings, Virginia’s State Water Control Board has given its stamp of approval on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The pipeline is slated to carry natural gas, running 300 miles through southwest Virginia. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Canine Brain Cancer Treatment May Help Humans

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Bentley is a Boxer with brain cancer being treated at Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg. (Credit: Alyson Taylor)

A treatment being tested for brain cancer in dogs may one day help humans with the same disease. Clinical trials at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg are showing promising results and a new round of trials is set to start early next year. Robbie Harris reports.

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Eliminating State and Local Tax Deduction Would Hit Virginia Harder Than Most States

Taxes Health Care Q&A

A portion of the Republican Senate bill “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” This week lawmakers will try to resolve differences between House and Senate versions in hopes of finishing around Christmas. (Credit: AP Photo / Jon Elswick)

As leaders in Congress move toward finalizing a huge tax cut proposal, taxpayers in Virginia are preparing to take a bigger hit than most states. Michael Pope has the story.

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Richmond’s Newest Mural Showcases Black Girl Magic

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Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ

Research shows black women are held to higher standards in the workplace, and when they make a mistake they’re more harshly punished. But one Virginia based nonprofit is trying to change the way the world views black girls, and they recently enlisted a local artist to help with the cause. Mallory Noe-Payne has look behind one of Richmond’s newest murals.

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New Tolls Hit Eye-Popping Levels On Virginia Interstate

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Credit: Soomness / Flickr

Drivers in Northern Virginia are being hit with tolls for a one-way trip that are about as much as a tank of gas. Michael Pope reports.

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State Water Board Will Get Final Say on Mountain Valley Pipeline

Chris Hurst

Virginia Delegate elect, Chris Hurst, D-Roanoke, speaks during a news conference prior to a meeting of the State Water Control Board in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. The board is holding two days of meetings and will make a decision on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

The fate of a controversial pipeline is now in the hands of Virginia’s Water Control Board. The board heard final public comment on the Mountain Valley Pipeline Wednesday. If approved, it would carry natural gas through much of southwest Virginia. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Question of Pipeline Water Safety to Come Before Board

William K. Jones

Hydrologist William K. Jones, walks up a mountain near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Bolar, Virginia. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber)

For those who have been following the progress of two natural gas pipelines, all eyes are on Richmond this week, where members of a citizen board could determine the future of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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With General Assembly Looming, Lawmakers Expected to Discuss Virginia’s Coal Ash Ponds

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A drain pipe sticks out of a coal ash retention pond at Dominion Power’s Possum Point Power Station in Dumfries, Va. (Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber, File)

One issue that’s on the agenda for the upcoming General Assembly session is dealing with decades of pollution, a problem that could potentially divide Democrats. Michael Pope has details.

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A Recount in Newport News Could Determine House of Delegates Control

Veto Session

Credit: AP Photo / Steve Helber

Election officials in several jurisdictions are preparing for recounts in tight races for the House of Delegates. But the recount in Newport News is one that might actually change the outcome of the election. Michael Pope reports.

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Monument Honors Virginia’s Women

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Zaria Milligan (center) was one of several young women at the ceremony. Virginia Secretary of Administration Nancy Rodriguez (right) brought her 2-year-old granddaughter as a special guest. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

A Jamestown settler, one of only two women who arrived on the first boat.  An enslaved woman who bought her own freedom. A Native American chief. These women, among others, will be honored in a new monument at Virginia’s capitol. Mallory Noe-Payne was at the ceremony and has this report.

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Hundreds Gather to Protest Natural Gas Pipelines

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Protestors, who oppose the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines, hold posters and get ready to walk around the Virginia Capitol Square in Richmond this weekend. (Credit: Daniel Sangjib Min / Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Hundreds of anti-pipeline protesters circled the state capitol this weekend, holding hands and forming a human chain more than ten blocks long. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Va. News Topics: Water Quality And Marijuana Laws

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

Some residents of King George County are angry about the quality of their drinking water and they’re using social media to make their point and the push to loosen marijuana laws may be winning more converts in the 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.

Click here for VPAP’s Va News Link 

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