Archive for category Virginia’s News

Black Virginians Are Facing a New Onslaught of Job Losses

shareAs the economy opens back up in Virginia, some groups are faring better than others. Michael Pope reports.

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Northam Puts More Restrictions on Hampton Roads

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Governor Northam during his Tuesday, July 28th COVID-19 press conference.

State officials are taking additional steps to combat a surge of COVID-19 in Hampton Roads. Nick Gilmore has details.

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An Eastern Shore Community and Its Confederate Monument

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The Confederate monument in Parksley was installed in 1899.

Local governments across Virginia are taking steps to bring down Confederate statues. But, one community on the Eastern Shore is taking a different approach. Michael Pope reports.

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Criminal Justice Reforms: Should Lawmakers Ban Nighttime Warrants?

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Lawmakers are about to return to Richmond and consider a host of criminal justice reforms. As Michael Pope reports, one of those would prohibit law enforcement officers from executing warrants at night.

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COVID-19 and Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles

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The Virginia DMV is encouraging citizens to conduct as much business as they can online. (Credit: Virginia DMV)

Before the pandemic, the Department of Motor Vehicles was the poster child for a slow-moving bureaucracy. Now, as Michael Pope reports frustrations are mounting.

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As the Pandemic Continues, Should Next Month’s Special Session Go Virtual?

virginia_flag_map_0Lawmakers are about to return to Richmond for a special session to reconsider the budget and take up criminal-justice reform efforts. They’ll probably be there in-person, although Michael Pope reports some House members are pushing for a virtual session.

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Mandatory Minimum Sentences Could Be on the Chopping Block Next Month

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Lawmakers will consider a number of criminal justice reforms during a special session next month. As Michael Pope reports, one will be getting rid of mandatory minimums.

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State Lawmakers Could Weigh How Much Power Prosecutors Have Next Month

virginia_flag_map_0As lawmakers consider criminal justice reform during the special session next month, not all the changes will be directed at police. Some important changes may also be on the horizon for the courts. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Must Balance Budget Amidst COVID: What Does that Mean for Legislative Priorities?

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As lawmakers prepare to go back to Richmond and put together a revised budget, they’ll be confronting a number of difficult decisions. Michael Pope has this report about one of those decisions involving maternal mortality.

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The Paradox of a Rural County: Few Cases of COVID but a Big Economic Impact

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The Omni Homestead employs 700 people in Bath County. It closed for three months due to COVID, reopening in late June. (Credit: Omni Homestead)

While the COVID-19 pandemic has largely spared rural Virginia, the economies of many communities have taken a big hit. That’s clearly the case in Bath County – a tourist mecca on the West Virginia border where meal and lodging taxes dropped dramatically and unemployment rose to more than 20%. Sandy Hausman paid a visit and filed this report.

And in this report, Sandy Hausman details how locals in Bath County are still hopeful, and how a creative spirit is spreading as they find ways to survive the economic downturn.

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Checking in With Virginia’s Latinx Community Following Passage of Workplace Safety Rules

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Liz Zavala at her job in Harrisonburg. (Credit: Cat Modlin-Jackson)

In May, we brought you the story of a Mexican-American woman whose family was deeply impacted by the spread of COVID-19 in poultry plants. Cat Modlin-Jackson checked in with Liz Zavala after Virginia became the first state to pass mandatory workplace safety rules amidst the pandemic.

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Senator Warner Wants to Protect Workers of Big Businesses

428px-Mark_Warner_113th_Congress_photoAlmost a million jobs in Virginia were preserved by the Paycheck Protection Program, according to new data from the Small Business Administration. But, that doesn’t help people who work for big businesses. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Reaches Grim Milestone: One Million Unemployment Claims in 2020

vecUnemployment claims in Virginia have surpassed an unprecedented milestone: one million claims this year. Now state and federal lawmakers are raising the alarm about a backlog of Virginians still waiting on money. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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State Democrats Split Over Paid Sick Days

virginia_flag_map_0As members of the General Assembly prepare to return to Richmond next month, many of them are looking for a way to make sure workers in Virginia get sick days. Michael Pope reports.

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Congressional Delegation Weighs In: Should Deregulation Efforts Remain Post-Pandemic?

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Credit: Rog Cogswell / Creative Commons

The Trump administration has aggressively moved to unwind an array of federal regulations since the coronavirus pandemic hit America, and to Virginia lawmakers it’s not as cut and dry – even across party lines. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Becomes First State to Pass Coronavirus Workplace Rules

virginia_flag_map_0Virginia has become the first state to pass mandated health and safety standards for workplaces, amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Labor activists are celebrating the new enforceable standards. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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A Look at the Virginia Cultural Institutions that Received PPP Help

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The Montpelier Foundation was among several Virginia non-profits to receive loans from the Paycheck Protection Program. (Credit: Montpelier Facebook Page / facebook.com/JMMontpelier/photos)

More than 130 museums, performing arts institutions and historical sites in Virginia received a boost from Paycheck Protection Program loans, according to data released this month by the U.S. Treasury Department. Cat Modlin-Jackson took a look at how that money helped salvage a pandemic summer.

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COVID-19 Hit Vulnerable Communities Hard: What Happens When You’re In More Than One?

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The pandemic has exposed how some communities are more vulnerable than others. But what happens when people are in more than one vulnerable group? Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Faces Hefty Price Tag to Send Kids Back to School

chart(1)The question about when and how to reopen schools isn’t just a question about health and safety. As Michael Pope reports, it’s also a matter of dollars and cents.

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Advocates Hope to “Ban the Box” For All Virginia Employers

virginia_flag_map_0When lawmakers return to Richmond next month, they’ll consider a bill to limit when employers can ask prospective hires about their criminal histories. Michael Pope reports.

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Requirement or Recommendation: How Should Virginia Guide Businesses Reopening Amid COVID-19?

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Businesses across Virginia are reopening, although state leaders are at odds over what kind of requirements they should be facing. Michael Pope reports.

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Packing on Pandemic Pounds: Expert Advice on Avoiding Stress Eating

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Melanie Brede counsels UVA students about nutrition. (Credit: UVA)

College students sometimes joke about the “freshman 15” – the weight they gain from eating more high-calorie food at the campus cafeteria. These days, nutritionists are also talking about the COVID-19 – pounds added during a pandemic. Sandy Hausman spoke with an expert on stress eating and filed this report.

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School Reopening Efforts are Becoming Increasingly Political

StateSeal00School is out for summer. But what happens when classes start again this fall?

Michael Pope has this preview of the coming political debate over the fall semester.

 

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COVID-19 and the 2020 Census

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The count of Virginia’s population this year during the Census is likely to be clouded because of the pandemic. Michael Pope reports.

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2021 Gubernatorial Race: Who Could Vie for the Republican Nomination?

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Several Democrats have already announced their candidacies to run for governor next year, and more may be on the way. But, the excitement is not as prevalent on the Republican side. Michael Pope reports.

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Urban-Rural Divide: Examining Incarceration Rates at Rural Jails Across Virginia

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Credit: Vera Institute

Virginia’s rural communities are struggling with an aging population and stagnant job growth. And there’s another trend behind bars. Michael Pope reports.

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Richmond Begins Removing Confederate Monuments

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Contractors prepare to remove the statue of Stonewall Jackson Wednesday. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Contractors began removing Confederate monuments located on city-owned land in Richmond Wednesday afternoon. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

 

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The State’s Felony Larceny Threshold Goes Up This Week

StateSeal00This week, a number of new laws will go into effect, including an increase to Virginia’s felony larceny threshold. Michael Pope has this preview.

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Marijuana Decriminalization: How Will It Impact Racial Inequities in Arrests?

chartWednesday, Virginia will decriminalize marijuana possession. But, that does not mean that enforcement of the law won’t fall disproportionately on Black people. Michael Pope reports.

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As Virginia Considers Workplace Health Requirements, Businesses Are Already Lashing Out

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Virginia is considering strict new workplace safety requirements for businesses that are now reopening. And, the proposed standard is controversial in the business community. Michael Pope reports.

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Police Reform with Representatives Bobby Scott and Donald McEachin

StateSeal00For the only two African American members of the Commonwealth’s delegation in Congress, the House passage of policing reform last evening was personal. Matt Laslo has the story from the Capitol.

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Localities Stepping Up to Provide Paid Leave for Employees

virginia_flag_map_0Lawmakers will be returning to Richmond in August to write a new budget and consider a host of criminal justice reforms. And, they’ll also be considering paid leave. Michael Pope reports.

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What Exactly is an “Unlawful Assembly?”

StateSeal00It’s been almost a month since protests began on Monument Avenue in Richmond. In the time since, police have declared these gatherings to be “unlawful assemblies” on multiple occasions, leaving many to wonder what that really means.

Cat Modlin-Jackson spoke with a Constitutional law specialist and has this report.

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A First Look at the U.S. Senate Race

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Now that the primary is over, the fall campaign season is underway. Michael Pope has this preview of the race for United States Senate.

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A Temporary Moratorium on Evictions Will Soon End

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The Supreme Court of Virginia (Credit: Morgan Riley / Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court of Virginia is ending the eviction moratorium, a move that could spell trouble for people caught up in the economic crisis. Michael Pope reports.

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Defund the Police? One Suggestion is to Work Towards Ending the School to Prison Pipeline

virginia_flag_map_0Calls to defund the police are echoing across the country, but where should the money go? Cat Modlin-Jackson has this report about what it will take to dismantle the school to prison pipeline.

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Richmond City Council Moves to Rename Lee Memorial Bridge

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A view of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge from underneath. The bridge spans across the James River. (Credit: Ben Schumin / Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons)

After years of deliberation over Confederate icons, Richmond city council members voted last night to set the wheels in motion for the process of renaming the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge. Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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After Another Night of Unrest in Richmond, Mayor Stoney Outlines Public Safety Revisions

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Credit: City of Richmond Facebook Page

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney outlined a plan to revise public safety Tuesday afternoon. His presentation came after weeks of demonstrations and repeated clashes between police and protestors. Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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Voting in a Pandemic: A Look at Safety Precautions for Tuesday’s Primary Elections

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Voters across Virginia will vote in primary elections Tuesday – casting ballots during a pandemic. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Apologies after Black Pastor’s arrest, Some School Districts seek to re-open on their own

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

A Virginia sheriff has apologized for the arrest of a black pastor who says he was defending himself when he pulled a handgun on four white men. And counties with low numbers of COVID-19 cases want to open their schools without following statewide guidelines. Fred Echols reports.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VA News link.

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A Look at the Potential Republican Challengers to Senator Mark Warner

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Credit: Republican Party of Virginia

Republicans across Virginia will head to the polls Tuesday to select a candidate to go up against Senator Mark Warner. Michael Pope has this preview.

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Prince William County Set to End Agreement with Federal Immigration Officials

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Should local law enforcement officials carry out federal immigration enforcement? Fewer local governments in Virginia are willing to enter into agreements with the federal government. Michael Pope reports.

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Another Democrat Joins 2021 Gubernatorial Race

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The race for Virginia’s governor is heating up, and now yet another Democrat is jumping into the race: Senator Jennifer McClellan of Richmond. Michael Pope has details.

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Consumer Behavior: What Have Virginians Been Buying During the Pandemic?

virginia_flag_map_0New numbers from the federal government show how the pandemic is influencing consumer choices in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Governor Ralph Northam Proposes Juneteenth as a State Holiday

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Musician and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams spoke at the news conference announcing plans for a Juneteenth state holiday.

Governor Ralph Northam wants to add a state holiday to commemorate the end of slavery. Nick Gilmore has details.

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Could a “Digital Tax” Be on the Way for Virginia?

virginia_flag_map_0Lawmakers are about to return to Richmond for a special session, and they’ll be looking for ways to fund criminal justice reform during an economic crisis. Michael Pope has this report about one possible new source of money.

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State Lawmakers to Consider Policing Reforms

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A coalition of 28 groups wants Virginia to reform policing — to emphasize community support rather than military tactics. (Credit: Ashton Erler)

When the General Assembly returns to Richmond in August to address a budget shortfall tied to the COVID pandemic, lawmakers will also be looking at reforms and possible cuts to policing. Sandy Hausman reports.

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State Officials Weighing Emergency Medicaid Services for Undocumented Immigrants

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Credit: CDC

Undocumented immigrants are being hit hard by the COVID-19 health crisis, and access to health care is a major stumbling block for many. But, Virginia could take action to increase availability of testing and treatment. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Schools Face Another Financial Crisis Thanks to COVID-19 and Economic Woes

povertyIn August, lawmakers will return to Richmond for a special session, and money for schools will be one of the key areas they’ll focus on. Michael Pope reports.

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State Officials Outline Plan for Reopening Virginia’s Public Schools This Fall

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Governor Ralph Northam during a recent COVID-19 update.

State officials outlined a plan Tuesday to reopen Virginia’s public and private schools this fall amid the ongoing pandemic. Nick Gilmore has details.

Here is more information from Governor Northam on the school plan, and details about what each phase of his reopening plan will mean for the state’s schools.

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