Archive for category Virginia’s News

Tired of Virginia’s Political Maps? Now’s Your Chance to Help Draw Them

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Now that voters have approved of a new redistricting commission, half of the members have been named. And, state officials are now taking applications for the other half. Michael Pope reports.

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Marijuana Legalization May Be on the Horizon in Virginia, But Questions Remain for Banks

Credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Lawmakers in Virginia may be on the verge of legalizing marijuana. But, nobody is taking that news to the bank just yet. Michael Pope reports.

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The Pandemic’s Impact on Where People Want to Live

The pandemic economy is influencing the prices of rental housing, and where people are choosing to live. Michael Pope has details.

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Latest Figures Show Down Unemployment Numbers, But There’s Still a Long Road Ahead

The number of people collecting unemployment insurance in Virginia has sharply declined in recent months. But, that doesn’t mean the employment situation is improving. Michael Pope reports.

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‘What We Were Meant To Do’ Medical Reserve Corps Preps for Vaccinations

More than 12,000 volunteers have stepped up to help battle the COVID-19 pandemic, but officials say more will be needed before it’s all over. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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A Look at Why So Many House of Delegates Members are Running for Statewide Offices

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As lawmakers prepare for the upcoming General Assembly session, a huge number of House members are running for statewide office or at least considering a run. As Michael Pope reports, that’s because of a quirk in the calendar this year.

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Examining the Future of the Republican Party Post Trump? Look No Further than Virginia

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When Donald Trump is no longer in the White House, what will the future of the Republican Party look like? Michael Pope reports that Virginia might offer a first look.

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Blue Ridge Tunnel Opens to the Public

Visitors stand outside the eastern entrance to the Blue Ridge Tunnel, completed in 1858. (Credit: RADIO IQ)

Virginia’s newest tourist attraction opened this week in Afton.  The Blue Ridge Tunnel was the longest tunnel of its kind when it opened in 1858. 

Today, it’s part of a hiking trail that winds past streams, waterfalls and stories of the people who built this engineering marvel. Sandy Hausman reports.

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Opponents of BrdsNBz Hotline Want Trump Administration to Intervene in Virginia

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Opponents of a text hotline for teens to ask questions about sex are asking the Trump administration to take action against the program. Michael Pope reports.

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UVA Uses Smart Phones and Watches to Search for Early Signs of Sickness and Brain Injury

Scientists at UVA are combining the sensing power of smart phones, watches and rings to search for early signs of illness or injury. (Credit: UVA)

In the last 20 years Americans have learned just how dangerous concussions can be, and we know early treatment is key to a full recovery.  Now, the University of Virginia is working on a way to diagnose brain injuries sooner and to monitor patients’ recovery. Sandy Hausman reports.

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Report: Virginia Hasn’t Done Much to Improve Ethics and Transparency Since McDonnell Scandal

Credit: Coalition for Integrity Facebook Page

A few years ago, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was involved in a political scandal over ethics. And a new report shows the Commonwealth hasn’t improved its standing since then. Michael Pope reports.

You can find the whole report here.

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Virginia Restaurants Coming to Terms with New Alcohol Restrictions

Restaurants across Virginia are adapting to new rules about when they can serve alcohol. Michael Pope reports.

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Congressman Griffith Wants to Prevent People from Taking Advantage of Opioid Crisis

9th District Congressman Morgan Griffith

The opioid crisis is still gripping rural parts of Virginia, and one Virginia congressman is taking action to limit its supply. Michael Pope reports.

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New Virginia COVID-19 Restrictions Begin Monday

Credit: CDC

Governor Ralph Northam announced a series of increased restrictions designed to combat the increase of COVID-19 cases. Nick Gilmore has details on the new restrictions set to go into effect at 12:01am Monday.

You can find more information here.

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At Least One Lawmaker Wants to Prohibit Private Prisons in Virginia

Lawmakers just ended their special session this week. But they’re already preparing for the next General Assembly session, which begins in about two months. Michael Pope has this preview of one bill that would prohibit private prisons.

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State Lawmakers Briefed on School Enrollment and the Pandemic’s Impact

Virginia schools are seeing declining enrollment – lawmakers heard details about that during a presentation from the Department of Education Thursday. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Work is Already Underway to Establish the New Redistricting Commission

Who has the judgement to pick citizen members of the new redistricting commission? Michael Pope reports that’s a decision that will be made by retired judges.

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Think School Segregation Ended in the 50’s? This Study says it’s Increasing.

School segregation is getting worse in Virginia, not better. And one driving factor is segregation within school districts. Those are the findings of a new report out Wednesday from researchers at VCU. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Lawmakers Set to Revisit Expungement Debate After Failing to Reach Agreement

Lawmakers have now ended their three-month special session. And, they left one important piece of business unfinished. Michael Pope reports.

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As State Lawmakers Consider Budget Amendments, Debate Over VMI Investigation Ensues

Members of the House of Delegates sparred Monday over a proposal from Governor Northam to fund an investigation into accounts of systemic racism at Virginia Military Institute. Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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Vote Counting Continues Across the Country and in Virginia

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While national attention is focused on ballots still being counted across the country, and votes are also still being tabulated here in Virginia. As of 4pm Friday, local registrars have reported about 800 additional mail-in ballots received between Election Day and noon on Friday. Mallory Noe-Payne reports. 

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Eviction-Related Protections Amendment to Be Considered by General Assembly Monday

Governor Ralph Northam is sending lawmakers an amendment to a bill aimed at helping renters during the pandemic. Michael Pope reports.

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Should Virtual Meetings Involving Public Business Continue After the Pandemic?

During the pandemic, people have gotten used to the idea of virtual meetings. But when the pandemic is over, how much government business should be conducted online? Michael Pope reports about a bill that might come under consideration in January.

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What Happens Now That the Redistricting Amendment Has Been Approved?

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Voters have approved a constitutional amendment creating a new redistricting commission, which now has a dizzying series of deadlines it must meet. Michael Pope has this preview of the work ahead.

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State Election Officials Reflect on Efforts to Safely Vote in a Pandemic

As the polls closed yesterday, Commissioner of Elections Chris Piper talked about the changes and challenges Virginia saw during this election. Jahd Khalil has more.

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Mark Warner Wins Third Term in U.S. Senate

Warner delivered his victory speech virtually Tuesday night. (Credit: Michael Pope)

U.S. Senator Mark Warner has declared victory in his re-election bid. As Michael Pope reports, he’s heading back to Washington for a third term.

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Processed vs. Tabulation: How Vote Counts Will Work on Election Night

Unlike some other states, Virginia law allows election officials to start processing absentee ballots before Election Day. But, the tabulation of votes won’t start until after the polls close. Michael Pope reports.

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Report: Virginia Could See Increased Militia Group Activity on Election Day

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As Election Day draws closer, Virginia is one of several states deemed to have a moderate risk of increased activity from militia groups. That’s according to a recent report from the research group MilitiaWatch. But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, Virginians do have legal protections against voter intimidation at the polls. 

Voters can report complaints of intimidation at the Virginia Department of Elections website or by phone – 800-552-9745. 

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Support for Constitutional Amendment #1 Appears to Be Growing

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There’s a lot more on the ballot than the presidential race. Voters will also consider a constitutional amendment creating a new mapmaking commission to draw political boundaries.

Michael Pope reports on a new poll that shows some good news for supporters of the amendment.

You can find the new poll here.

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CNU Poll: Biden Leads Trump by 12, 20-Point Advantage for Warner Over Gade

Credit: Christopher Newport University

Virginia is not among the Presidential swing states that are getting all the time and attention right now. And Michael Pope reports on a new poll that might show why. And Michael Pope reports on a new poll that might show why.

Control of the United States Senate is on the ballot this year, although as Michael Pope reports on polling that shows there isn’t much of a race in Virginia.

You can find the poll here.

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Northam Considers Bill Limiting Some Use of Military Equipment by Police

Governor Ralph Northam is now considering dozens of bills lawmakers sent him during a special session on coronavirus and criminal justice reform. Michael Pope reports about one bill that could limit what kind of military equipment is available to police.

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Criminal Cases in Virginia Will Work Differently Beginning Next Year

Starting next summer, the criminal justice system in Virginia will see a major change in how criminal trials work and what kind of plea deals are offered. Michael Pope reports.

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Why Election Night will Likely be a Long One

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Election Day is one week away, but Virginians have been voting for a while. Almost two million votes have already been cast.

Here’s a preview of what voters can expect on election night and potentially the days following. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Virginia Takes on Race-Motivated 911 Calls

Calling 911 on someone because they are Black is about to become a felony in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Soybean Seesaw: The Give and Take of Tariffs and Trade Wars

Credit: Edgar Pierce / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/edgarpierce/6279891136

Virginia agriculture is taking some hits. But some sectors are benefiting at the expense of others. Michael Pope reports.

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Differences Over Conviction Expungement Continue to Divide General Assembly

Lawmakers are mostly done with their special session, although they left some business unfinished. Michael Pope reports on one criminal justice reform that has yet to be resolved.

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A Closer Look at Virginia’s U.S. Senate Race

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The race for president will be at the top of the ticket this year. But the race just underneath that will be the election for United States Senator between incumbent Democrat Mark Warner and Republican challenger Daniel Gade. Michael Pope has this look at that campaign.

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Both Republicans and Democrats Split Over Redistricting Amendment

Credit: Christopher Newport University

Democrats are divided over a constitutional amendment creating a new redistricting commission. And, as it turns out, Republicans are divided too. Michael Pope reports.

You can find the poll here.

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Special Session Begins to Wrap Up: What Did Lawmakers Accomplish?

Governor Ralph Northam is now considering several dozen bills lawmakers sent during a two-month special session. Michael Pope reports.

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New Study: More Deaths Can Be Attributed to COVID-19

A new study from Virginia Commonwealth University suggests the death rate from COVID-19 is higher than reported. 

Sandy Hausman spoke with its lead author about the under-count, what some states have done wrong during the pandemic and how this state has performed.

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Who Should Be Able to Serve on New Redistricting Commission?

Voters are considering a constitutional amendment that would create a new commission to draw political boundaries. But just who is expected to serve on this commission? Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Gets “C” Grade for Future Debt in Unfunded Pensions

Virginia prides itself on being a state that has a balanced budget. But, that doesn’t mean the Commonwealth is without debt. Michael Pope reports.

Here’s a link to the report from Truth in Accounting.

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General Assembly Working Out Differences Over Conviction Expungement

Leaders in the House and Senate are trying to work out their differences on expunging old convictions. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Are Working to Give Prosecutors More Options

Lawmakers are wrapping up their special session on the budget and criminal justice reform. And, they’re about to send a bill to the governor that could transform how cases are handled in your local courthouse. Michael Pope reports.

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A Closer Look at Closed-Door Conference Committees

Lawmakers are trying to wrap up their special session in Richmond, although they’ll need to resolve several major differences between the House version of bills and the Senate version of bills. And, they’ll be resolving their differences in private. Michael Pope reports.

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Report: Virginia Could Be Doing More to Help Localities Recruit Teachers

State officials could be doing more to help recruit and retain qualified teachers. That’s one finding in a report released to lawmakers today by the state’s independent watchdog agency. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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A Look at the Policing Reforms Moving Forward at the General Assembly

Lawmakers in Richmond are moving forward with a sweeping package of new laws aimed at reforming how policing works in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Effort Banning Police Use of Chokeholds Fails in Richmond

Lawmakers in Richmond may be close to wrapping up their special session. And, they’re coming to a resolution on the issue of chokeholds. Michael Pope reports.

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Pretext Stops Related to the Smell of Marijuana May Soon Be a Thing of the Past

Credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

The Virginia Senate is about to consider a bill that could dramatically reduce the number of people who are stopped and searched by police officers. Michael Pope reports.

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Funding Dispute Could Delay Sentencing Reform Legislation

Sentencing reform is coming to Virginia, although Democrats in the House and Senate are divided on when Virginia can afford to make it happen. Michael Pope reports.

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